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Biographical entry Mathieson, Alexander McLeod (1920 - 2011)


17 July 1920
Aberdeen, Scotland
30 August 2011
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Chemist and Crystallographer


Sandy Mathieson was widely considered to be the father of Australian X-ray crystallography. He earned considerable recognition for his pioneering research on crystallographic methods, molecular structure determination and related instrument development. In 1947 he joined the CSIR Chemical Physics Section, and was Chief Research Scientist in the CSIRO Division of Chemical Physics from 1965 to 1985. On retirement he was Honorary Professor of Chemistry at La Trobe University where he remained for nearly 20 years. In 1967 he was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA). The Society of Crystallographers of Australian and New Zealand inaugurated the Sandy Mathieson Award for young researchers in 2012.



Education - BSc (Hons), University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Life event - Migrated to Australia
Career position - Research scientist, Chemical Physics Section, CSIR Division of Industrial Chemistry
Education - PhD, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
Award - David Syme Research Prize, University of Melbourne
Education - DSc, University of Melbourne
1960 - 1972
Career position - Member, Commission on Crystallographic Apparatus, International Union of Crystallography
1961 - 1972
Career position - Member, Commission of Structure Reports, International Union of Crystallography
Award - H. G. Smith Memorial Smith Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
1965 - 1985
Career position - Chief Research Scientist and Head of X-Ray Diffraction Section, CSIRO Division of Industrial Chemistry
1967 - 2011
Award - Fellow, Australian Academy of Science
1969 - 1975
Career position - Member of Executive, International Union of Crystallography
1975 - 1978
Career position - Member of Council, Australian Academy of Science
1978 - 1980
Career position - Acting Chief of Division, CSIRO Division of Industrial Chemistry
Life event - Retired
1985 - c. 2005
Career position - Honorary Professor of Chemistry, La Trobe University
Award - Hon DSc, University of St Andrews, United Kingdom
Award - Centenary Medal for service to Australian society and science in chemistry

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Hall, S.R. and Mathieson, A. McL., 'Edward Norman Maslen 1935-1997', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 13, no. 3, 2001, pp. 323-50. Details
  • Stevenson, Andrew, Wilkins, Stephen and Gulbis, Jacqui, 'Sandy Mathieson, FAA (1920 - 2011)', Australian Physics, vol. 49, no. 5, 2012, p. 153. Details


Resource Sections

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn