Elected in 1989
“For pioneering contributions to materials handling, transportation, and processing.”
BY RAJA V. RAMANI
A. TOBEY YU, co-founder of ORBA Corporation and a pioneer in the development of bulk materials handling systems, died on April 8, 2009, at the age of 88 in Haiku, Maui. He is survived by his wife Natalie, son Leonard and wife Roberta Beatty, daughter Pamela and husband John Bannister, and four grandchildren.
The concept behind ORBA was hatched in the foothills of the Andes in South America. Tobey first visited the Cia Minera Sante Fe in Chile in 1957 as the chief engineer for Hewitt Robins, Inc., to build its materials handling system. Later he became the technical director of Cia Minera Sante Fe’s iron ore operations, which shipped high-grade ore to virtually every steel mill in the world. The company had to solve all the problems that arose in mining, processing, and transhipment of facilities associated with the bulk materials. Tobey concluded that a company dedicated to designing, building, operating, and troubleshooting bulk materials handling systems was needed.
ORBA’s quick growth in a relatively short time since its founding in 1972 to become a world leader in bulk materials transportation and its record compilation of several notable engineering firsts are testimony to Tobey’s enormous contribution to the mining and materials handling industries.