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Biographical entry Messel, Harry (1922 - 2015)


3 March 1922
Levine Siding, Manitoba, Canada
8 July 2015
Southport, Queensland, Australia


Harry Messel was Professor of Physics and Head of the School of Physics, University of Sydney 1952-1987. Earlier he had lectured in mathematical physics at the University of Adelaide 1951-1952.



1951 - 1952
Career position - Senior Lecturer in Mathematical Physics, University of Adelaide
1952 - 1987
Career position - Professor and Head, School of Physics, University of Sydney
1954 - 1987
Career position - Director, Nuclear Research Foundation (later Science Foundation for Physics), University of Sydney
1975 - 1981
Career position - Commissioner, Australian Atomic Energy Commission
Award - Commander (Civil) of the Order of the British Empire(CBE)
Education - MSc, University of Sydney
1989 - 2004
Career position - Chairman, Crocodile Specialist Group, IUCN/Species Survival Commission
Award - DSc (Honoris Causa), University of Sydney
1992 - 1997
Career position - Chancellor, Bond University, Queensland
Award - ANZAAS Medal, Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science
Award - Sir Peter Scott Medal, International Union for the Conservation of Nature
Award - Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for service to Australian science and to education as an outstanding educator raising awareness of the importance of the study of science and in particular physics, for instrumental contributions to improving science teaching in schools, and for conservation advocacy relating to endangered crocodile and alligator specie
Award - Academy Medal, Australian Academy of Scienc

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Oral History Collection

  • Harry Messel - Records, 1925 - 1972, DeB 577; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details

University of Sydney, Archives

  • Harry Messel - Records, 1952 - 1981, P 146; University of Sydney, Archives. Details

Published resources

Edited Books

  • Moyal, Ann (ed.), Portraits in Science, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 1994, 209 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Hewitt, Robert G., 'Emeritus Professor Harry Messel AC CBE, 3 March 1922 - 8 July 2015', Australian Physics, vol. 52, no. 2, 2015, p. 176. Details

Online Resources

See also

McCarthy, G.J.