Assistant Professor

Ph.D (University of Queensland, Australia)

phone: 6048223666
Frank Forward Room 103
Research Interests

I obtained both my Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering in China. After a short period of study at Tsinghua University, I obtained scholarship from the University of Queensland and moved to Australia in 2009 to pursue a PhD in Mineral Processing and Environmental Engineering. My PhD work represents one of the first attempts to study the impact of using sewage water in mineral flotation to address water shortage. As a result of this work, I was awarded the University of Queensland Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence, a formal recognition to outstanding PhD graduates for substantial contribution to their field of research. After finishing my PhD in 2013, I joined the NBK Mining Engineering and later Department of Materials Engineering at UBC as a Postdoctoral Fellow under the supervision of Marek Pawlik and David Dixon. Here I worked on interfacial behavior of amine collectors and heap leach modelling. I was awarded the 2014 Young Author Award by the International Mineral Processing Council (IMPC) for my postdoctoral work on the interfacial behavior of amine surfactants. I have also worked as a consultant on the leaching of selenium and sulphate from coal mine waste. In July 2015 I joined the Hydrometallurgy Chair within the Department of Materials Engineering at UBC as an Assistant Professor and have since undertaken research under the Chair in the following areas:

  • Use of sea water in heap leaching
  • Release of selenium and associated toxic elements from mine waste materials
  • Heap leach modelling

Refereed Journal Publications

  1. Liu, W., Pawlik, M., Holuszko, M., 2014. The role of colloidal precipitates in the interfacial behavior of alkyl amines at gas-liquid and gas-liquid-solid interfaces. Minerals Engineering, vol. 72, pp.47-56.
  2. Liu, W., Moran, C.J., Vink, S., 2013. A review of the effect of water quality on flotation.  Minerals Engineering, vol. 53, pp.91-100.
  3. Liu, W., Moran, C.J., Vink, S., 2013. Managing the potential risks of using bacteria-laden water in mineral processing to protect freshwater. Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 47, pp. 6582-88.
  4. Liu, W., Moran, C.J., Vink, S., 2013. Impact of chalcopyrite depression by water-borne bacteria in pure and combined mineral systems. International Journal of Mineral Processing, vol. 123, pp. 18-24.
  5. Liu, W., Moran, C.J., Vink, S., 2013. Mechanism study of the impact of water-borne bacteria on flotation. International Journal of Mineral Processing, vol. 123, pp.39-45.
  6. Liu, W., Moran, C.J., Vink, S., 2011. Quantitative risk-based approach for improving water quality management in mining. Environmental Science & Technology, vol. 45, pp. 7459-64.
  7. Xiao, L., Liu, W., Liang, B., 2009. Experimental study on iron and manganese oxidation in acidic mine drainage. Journal of Central China Normal University (Natural Science), vol. 3, pp. 419-21.

Refereed Conference Proceedings

  1. Liu, W., Dixon, D.G., 2015. Modelling water transport in copper heap bioleaching — a case study, Heap Leach Solutions 2015, Reno, United States.
  2. Liu, W., Dixon, D.G., 2015. Modeling water transport in copper heap bioleaching. Hydroprocess 2015, Antofagasta, Chile.
  3. Liu, W., Pawlik, M., 2014. The role of colloidal precipitates in the interfacial behavior of long-chain ionic surfactants, International Mineral Processing Congress, Santiago, Chile.
  4. Liu, W., Vink, S., 2014. Managing the risk of mine sulphate discharge to downstream ecosystems, in: Sui, W., Sun, Y., Wang, C. (Ed.), Proceedings of the 12th Congress of International Mine Water Association, IWMA 2014, Xuzhou, China, pp. 379-383.
  5. Liu, W., Moran, C.J., Vink, S., 2012. Flotation of chalcopyrite in water containing bacteria, in: Drelich, J. (Ed.), Water in Mineral Processing. Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME), Seattle, United States, pp. 165-173.
  6. Liu, W., Moran, C.J., Vink, S., 2011. Effect of bacteria on the flotation of chalcopyrite, in: Kracht, W., Kuyvenhoven, R., Lynch-Watson, S., Montes-Atenas, G. (Eds.), Procemin 2011: 8th International Mineral Processing Seminar, Santiago, Chile, pp. 213-221.