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Biographical entry Smith, Peter Warnock (1924 - 2017)


30 June 1924
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
2 July 2017
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Inorganic chemist


Peter Smith was an inorganic chemist who at University of Tasmania introduced new topics such as analytical chemistry, industrial and applied chemistry, chemistry for engineers. His research was into the chemistry of intermediate oxidation state compounds of molybdenum, chromium, tungsten, vanadium, and titanium; the, structural, magnetic and spectroscopic properties of some halides and pseudo-halides; and nuclear quadrupole resonance spectroscopy. He played a key role in the establishment of the Central Science Laboratory at University of Tasmania. Smith was active in professional organisations, particularly the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, and was president of the Royal Society of Tasmania in 2006.



1940 - 1946
Career position - Laboratory assistant for an arc welding company
1940 - 1971
Career position - Member, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
Education - Diplomas in chemical engineering and metallurgy, Hobart Technical College
1946 - 1947
Career position - Employed by the Australian Aluminium Production Commission
1947 - 1951
Career position - Employed by Murex Australia Chemical and Metallurgical Laboratories
Education - Diploma of Applied Chemistry, Hobart Technical College
1951 - 1952
Career position - Examiner, Australian Patents Office
1952 - 1955
Career position - Demonstrator (later Senior Demonstrator), Department of Chemistry, University of Tasmania
Education - BSc (hons), University of Tasmania
1961 - 1965
Career position - Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Tasmania
Education - PhD, University College, London
1966 - 1971
Career position - Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, University of Tasmania
1969 - 2017
Career position - Member, Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
1971 - 1989
Career position - Reader in Chemistry, University of Tasmania
1971 - 2017
Award - Fellow, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
1981 - 1982
Career position - Acting Head, Department of Chemistry, University of Tasmania
1982 - 1989
Career position - Tasmanian delegate to National Council, Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering
Award - National Citation for contributions to the profession, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
Life event - Retired
1989 - 2017
Career position - Honorary Research Associate, University of Tasmania
Award - Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Tasmania
Career position - Vice-President, Royal Society of Tasmania
Career position - President, Royal Society of Tasmania
Award - Hon DSc, University of Tasmania
Award - Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to science, education and philanthropy

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Townsend, Ashley, Denny, Jak, Breen, Eoin and Yates, Brian, 'Peter W. Smith OAM, generous and distinguished inorganic chemist', Chemistry in Australia, 2017/8 (Dec/Jan) (2017), 29. Details

See also

Helen Cohn