In 1987 Dr. Wan moved to the business sector when she joined Newmont Mining Corporation’s metallurgical services research and development team. Later she was promoted to chief research scientist of hydrometallurgy, retiring in 2001. Newmont Mining Corporation’s Chairman and CEO Wayne Murdy awarded her the Chairman’s Award “in recognition of lifetime achievements in the areas of process development, hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy and operations support through her tireless dedication and loyalty.” Throughout her business career she demonstrated her dedication to education by advising and offering encouragement to many students pursuing their education goals. After her retirement she continued to work with the staff of Newmont Metallurgical Services as a consultant, mentoring colleagues and advising on research projects until shortly before her death in 2009.
Dr. Wan was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2000. Her citation reads “for accomplishments in metallurgical research and industrial practice and for teaching, supervising, and inspiring students, researchers, and industrial colleagues,” reflecting her dedication to research and education. Dr. Wan served the NAE through participation on the Bernard Gordon Prize Committee (2004–2006), the Earth Resources Engineering Peer Committee (2004–2007), and the Committee on Membership (2007–2009). She also participated on the National Research Council’s Committee on Technologies for the Mining Industries (2000–2001) and the Committee on Earth Resources (2004–2006).
Rong-Yu Wan was a generous contributor to mining engineering through her participation in professional committees. These contributions were recognized in 2001 by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration’s Antoine M. Gaudin Award, one of the society’s most prestigious awards. She was cited “for her tireless efforts in the development of new processes for the treatment of refractory gold ores through the application of mineral processing fundamentals to plant testing.” This award reflected Dr. Wan’s work in process development testing of critical design factors for Newmont Mining Corporation’s 10,000-ton daily roaster operation in