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Biographical entry Shannon, James Stanley (Jim) (1926 - 2015)

11 July 1926
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
3 May 2015


Jim Shannon was Professor of Chemistry at the University of New South Wales 1969-1986 and before that he was a Research Scientist with the CSIRO 1955-1969.


Jim Shannon joined the CSIRO Division of Coal Research in 1955 where he pursued basic research studies in the chemistry of polynuclear compounds as models for elucidating coal structure. Recognising the need for the latest analytical instrumentation, including mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance, Shannon was instrumental in the installation in 1961 by CSIRO of the first mass spectrometer in Australia devoted to the elucidation of the structures of organic compounds. During the course of his research, he proposed a new ion charge symbolism that became universally accepted in organic mass spectrometry. In 1969 he was appointed to a personal chair at the University of New South Wales. Here he oversaw the installation of two mass spectrometers in the School of Chemistry. Shannon made significant contributions to administration of the University, having two terms as Head of the School, and serving on the University Council and a number of University committees


Education - BSc, University of Adelaide
Education - British Council Fellowship for research at Imperial College London
Education - PhD, Imperial College, London
Career position - Appointed to CSIRO Division of Coal Research
1963 - 1969
Career position - Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Division of Coal Research
Education - DSc, University of Adelaide
Award - H. G. Smith Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
1969 - 1987
Career position - Professor of Chemistry, University of New South Wales
1976 - 1977
Career position - Head, School of Chemistry, University of New South Wales
1980 - 1984
Career position - Head, School of Chemistry, University of New South Wales
Career position - Emeritus Professor, University of New South Wales
Life event - Retired

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Black, David, 'Jim Shannon, mass spectrometrist', Chemistry in Australia, 2015 (Sept) (2015), 28. Details
  • Derrick, Peter J., Lacey, Michael J. and Macdonald, Colin G., 'Editorial [on Jim Shannon]', Organic Mass Spectrometry, 27 (1992), 979-84. Details
  • Sternhell, Sev, 'Jim Shannon at Coal Research August 1955 - April 1964', Organic Mass Spectrometry, 27 (1992), 985-6. Details


See also

  • Downard, K. M. and De Laeter, J. R., 'A History of Mass Spectrometry in Australia', Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 40 (9) (2005), 1123-1139. Details

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn