Dr. Haydn Murray was an internationally recognized expert on applied clay mineralogy, and was without peer in his familiarity with clay mineral deposits worldwide. His leadership in applied clay mineralogy resulted in four US Patents and led to the development of innovative new kaolin products for paper coating and filling, enhanced single coat coverage in paints, and expanded uses for clays in ceramics, plastics, and other commercial applications.
Born in Kewanee, Illinois, Haydn joined the US Army shortly after high school in Toulon, IL, serving from 1943 to 1946 as lieutenant with an engineering aviation battalion in the Pacific. After discharge, he earned BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Geology from the University of Illinois. His doctoral dissertation in 1951, The Structure of Kaolinite and Its Relation to Acid Treatment, set the tone for the more than 200 peer-reviewed papers he authored over his career.
After earning his PhD, Dr. Murray joined the Indiana University faculty in a joint position with the Indiana Geological Survey. In 1957, he became Director of Research for Georgia Kaolin Company. There, his work was of such significance that he was quickly promoted to Manager of Operations, Vice President of Operations, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer by 1964. Under Haydn’s leadership, Georgia Kaolin Company expanded into bentonite clay, sodium and calcium bentonites, halloysite, and European kaolins through a number of strategic acquisitions and joint ventures.
Dr. Murray returned to Indiana University in 1973 as Geology Department Head, where he created the first academic program in applied clay science in the US. His influence and reputation were such that he chaired the UNESCO Kaolin Genesis Committee in 1973, evaluated clay deposits in Egypt for the US State Department’s Agency for International Development (AID) in 1984, and evaluated several industrial mineral deposits for the Geologic Survey of Chile in 1985. He was instrumental in the discovery and development of commercially significant kaolin deposits in Brazil. His 96 PhD and MS students did research and theses on kaolin, bentonite, halloysite, and palygorskite clays and have gone on to hold critical positions in industry, government, and academia. Dr. Murray left academia in 1994 to form H. H. Murray and Assoc., focusing on research in applied clay mineralogy with assignments in many regions of the world.
Haydn freely gave back to his profession, having served as President of the Clay Minerals Society, the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, and the American Institute of Professional Geologists. He was elected into the National Academy of Engineering and Chaired their Resource Engineering Committee to name only a few examples. In 2001, Haydn and his wife, Juanita (Appenheimer), established the Murray Chair of Applied Clay Mineralogy at Indiana University. Dr. Murray’s book, Applied Clay Mineralogy, published in 2007, was the capstone publication of his career and continues as a valued reference for researchers, exploration geologists, and mine operators.
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