Walsh, Alan, (FAA, FRS, FTSE) (1916-1998)

Also known as
Walsh, Alan (1916-1998)
Field of activity
Chemical physicist
NLA Persistent Identifier
https://nla.gov.au/nla.party-1473299

Biographies

Sir Alan Walsh was the originator and developer of the atomic absorption method of chemical analysis, which has been described as 'the most significant advance in chemical analysis' in the twentieth century. Walsh claimed this breakthrough came about when he "managed to stop being stupid long enough to see something that should have been obvious all along". The first spectrometer based on his design was produced in Australia during the mid-1960s by Techtron Pty. Ltd. Atomic absorption provided a quick, easy, accurate and highly sensitive method of determining the concentrations of more than sixty-five of the elements, rendering traditional wet-chemical methods obsolete. The method has found important application world-wide in areas as diverse as medicine, agriculture, mineral exploration, metallurgy, food analysis, biochemistry, the wine industry and environmental control. Alan Walsh was leader of the Spectroscopy Section of the CSIRO Division of Chemical Physics from 1946-1957 and Assistant Chief of the Division from 1958-1976.

  • Education - Bachelor of Science (BSc) completed at the University of Manchester, UK
  • Career position - Postgraduate studies in the Physics Department of the Manchester College of Technology
  • Career position - Investigator in the Physics Section of the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association
  • Career position - Deputy Chief Chemist at the Metal and Produce Recovery Depot, Ministry of Aircraft Production in Durham, UK (secondment)
  • Education - Master of Science (MSc Tech) completed at the University of Manchester
  • Career position - Chief Spectroscopist at the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association
  • Career position - Leader of Spectroscopy Section of the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) Division of Industrial Chemistry in Fisherman's Bend, Victoria
  • Award - Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA)
  • Career position - Chief Research Scientist and Assistant Chief (1962c) of the CSIR / CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) Division of Chemical Physics
  • Education - Doctor of Science (DSc) received from the University of Manchester
  • Award - Britannica Australia Science Award received
  • Career position - Council member of the Australian Academy of Science
  • Award - Einstein Memorial Lecturer presented to the Australian Institute of Physics
  • Career position - President of the Australian Institute of Physics
  • Award - Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)
  • Career position - Foreign member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Stockholm
  • Award - Royal Society of Victoria Research Medal received
  • Career position - Honorary member of the Society of Analytical Chemistry, London
  • Education - Doctor of Science (Hon DSc) received from Monash University in Victoria
  • Career position - Honorary Fellow of the Chemical Society of London
  • Career position - Honorary member of the Royal Society of New Zealand
  • Award - James Cook Medal received from the Royal Society of New South Wales
  • Award - Knight Bachelor (Kt cr)
  • Award - Torbern Bergman Medal received from the Swedish Chemical Society
  • Career position - Honorary Fellow at Monash University
  • Career position - Consultant to Perkin-Elmer Corporation in the USA
  • Award - Matthew Flinders Medal received from the Australian Academy of Science
  • Award - Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE)
  • Award - Robert Boyle Medal received from the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • Education - Doctor of Science (Hon DSc) received from the University of Manchester

View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science

Related people and organisations

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

Resources for Alan Walsh

Selected resources (11)

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  1. Walsh, Alan
    Published: The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre
    Series: Encyclopedia of Australian Science
  2. Alan Walsh 1916-1998
    Hannaford, Peter
    Published: 2000
    Series: Historical Records of Australian Science, 13, 2, 179-206
  3. Sir Alan Walsh
    Ward, C.
    Published: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), 2011
    Series: CSIROpedia
  4. Alan Walsh and the First Atomic Absorption Spectometer
  5. Surprise and Enterprise: Fifty Years of Science for Australia
    McKay, Andrew
    Published: CSIRO, Melbourne, 1976
  6. Albert Lloyd George Rees 1916-1989
    Walsh, A. and Willis, J. B.
    Published: 1992
    Series: Historical Records of Australian Science, 9, 1, 31-47
  7. Walsh, Alan
    Hannaford, Peter
    Published: Charles Scribner's Sons, Detroit, 2008
    Series: New Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Koertge, Noretta, ed., vol. 7, 228-233
  8. [Alan Walsh Commemorative Issue]
    Amos, Max; Hannaford, Peter; Slavin, Walter; Willis, John
    Published: 1999
    Series: Spectrochimica Acta B, 54, 14, 1933-2182
  9. Optical Instruments in Australia in the 1939-45 War: successes and lost opportunities
    Bolton, H. C.
    Published: 1990
    Series: Australian Physicist
  10. Exhibition Papers
    Published: Australian Science Archives Project, 1997
  11. Technology in Australia 1788-1988
    Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
    Published: Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, Melbourne, 2000

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  1. Family Notices
    Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Saturday 13 August 1921 p 13 Family Notices Illustrated
    ... . Private Lulie A. Bell, killed in action «t Po Kieres. August 4, 1916. Oh, death, where is thy merer? What ... . A. ?BeA, killed at Pozieres, August i. 1916. Hothing- but memory as we Journey on, ILonging for ... 25013 words
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    The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) Saturday 21 May 1949 p 18 Family Notices
    ... , at Monreith Hospital, to June and Ron —a son (David John). WALSH. —On May 19, at Wallaroo, to Jean ... , Eleanor Matilda, the dearly be-loved wife of Alan Heddle, and loving mother of Evelyn (Mrs. F. Abbot ... 10189 words
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    ... Block, j\ Morweli Bridge. 2% m fr Yal-lourn, 2 m Morweli, Prfnccs Highway. Excnange, rent, 1 or 5 r ... . - — Bus coup, girl 8 yrs. 2 FR. kit, 8 ol Yarra: £2 10/. Arthur Corbett. c 1552. Bus couple, to be married ... 15776 words
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