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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962



J. W. Zillman Director of Meteorology
The Seven Stages in the Life and Career of Dr W. J. Gibbs
The Meteorological Legacy of Dr Gibbs
Dr Gibb's Career—An Appreciation


Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



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The Seven Stages in the Life and Career of Dr W. J. Gibbs (continued)

At the age of 35, Bill set out for study in the US under a Harkness fellowship from the Commonwealth Fund of New York. He recalls his years 1951–52 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) under the tutelage of such meteorological greats as H. G. Houghton, E. N. Lorenz, V. P. Starr, H. C. Willett and H. Lettau, as the fourth stage of his career which he describes in his own words in Chapter 4 (pp 109-21) of this volume. The study for his Masters degree at MIT and the opportunity his Fellowship provided to travel to other leading university meteorology departments in the US provided Bill with much of the scientific foundation and confidence for the research leadership role which he was about to assume in the next and highly productive stage of his career.

The years 1952–62 marked the fifth stage of Bill's career and a time of great scientific progress for the Bureau. Back in the Central Analysis and Weather Development Section in Melbourne in a Bureau still without any full-time research posts, Bill initiated a number of important investigations into upper air processes in the southern hemisphere. He co-authored the then definitive WMO Technical Note on The Jet Stream and played a key role in the international planning for IGY (International Geophysical Year) scientific activities in the Antarctic. He also returned to the problems of tropical meteorology with a major contribution to the 1956 Brisbane symposium on tropical cyclones. Following his appointment in June 1958 as the Bureau's Assistant Director Research under then Director of Meteorology, Mr L. J. (Len) Dwyer, Bill played a key role in driving forward the Bureau's use of windfinding and weather watch radar, especially for tropical cyclone tracking. Drawing on his earlier US connections, he was also responsible for establishing Australian leadership, right at the beginning of the satellite era, in the interpretation and use of this exciting new source of information for synoptic analysis over the southern hemisphere continents and oceans.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Gibbs, William James (Bill)

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Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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