Milestone for Tantalum & Niobium Industry

September 10th, 2018 was a day of recognition and victory for both Dr. Yuri Freeman and Tantalum-Niobium International Study Center (T.I.C). Dr. Freeman was named this year’s winner of the medal of Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize while T.I.C celebrated yet another achievement in tantalum research. T.I.C. is the global trade body representing the tantalum and niobium industry.

The Anders Gustaf Ekeberg Tantalum Prize aka Ekeberg Prize, established in 2017, is named after the discoverer of the element tantalum. The prize is awarded annually to recipients for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of tantalum (Ta). It aims to increase awareness of the many unique properties of tantalum products and their application in which they excel. Incidentally, the medal for the Ekeberg Prize is currently being manufactured from pure tantalum metal by the Kazakhstan Mint.

Dr. Yuri Freeman is the Director of Advanced Research in the Tantalum (Ta) business unit and a member of the Advanced Technology Group at KEMET Electronics. An independent panel of experts has recognized him for his book “Tantalum and Niobium-Based Capacitors.” The book is a first of its kind offering a comprehensive expository on the science, manufacture, and applications of tantalum capacitors. The publication according to the T.I.C has made up for the current lack of basic books of tantalum and tantalum capacitors in education.

Among other accolades of Dr. Yuri are:

  • His Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from Kharkov Technical University in Ukraine.
  • He has published more than 30 papers and received 26 patents in the field of physics and technology of Tantalum and Niobium Capacitors.
  • He was the principal scientist at Elitan, the largest producer in the Soviet Union of Tantalum and Niobium Capacitors, and at Vishay Sprague in the USA.


This year’s T.I.C’s annual meeting, the 59th General Assembly, will take place in a month’s time in Kigali, Rwanda.

The conference will focus and explore issues on:

  • How recycling impacts supply.
  • The supply chain from the consumer’s perspective.
  • Developments made in tantalum and niobium applications.
  • How by-product tantalum from lithium mining could affect the supply.
  • Key elements that are affecting tantalum and niobium consumption in its core markets.
  • Due diligence essentials ahead of the European Union’s (EU) conflict mineral regulation coming into force in January 2020.

All the other 2018 authors on the shortlist for the award have been praised and congratulated for their high standard of publications and for challenging the boundaries of the current knowledge of tantalum. Acknowledgment of real leaders in this field through the award is expected to foster technology-driven innovations. This will further advance the future of the tantalum market.

Exotech would like to congratulate both Dr. Freeman and T.I.C. on these outstanding achievements.