1 - Albert Lloyd George Rees

Date Range15 January 1915 - August 1989

1916: Born in Melbourne, 15 January [Rees was the son of the Reverend G. Percy Rees.]

1924-1933: Attended Carey Baptist Grammar, Melbourne

1934-1939: University of Melbourne, B.Sc. 1936, M.Sc. 1938, D.Sc. 1948 [David Rivett gave Rees part-time work at his Melbourne University laboratory, which enabled Rees to take up part-time study. By winning scholarships, Rees was able to study full-time and eventually obtain both the B.Sc. And the M.Sc. His M.Sc. Work examined the effect of solvents and foreign gases on the absorption spectrum of bromine.]

1939: Lecturer in Organic Chemistry, University of Western Australia [This was one of the few academic teaching posts of Rees' career. On the recommendation of E.J. Hartung, Rees was invited to Western Australia by his former M.Sc. Supervisor and colleague at the University of Melbourne, Prof. Noel Bayliss. During this temporary appointment, Rees developed his concept of the solvent cage as fundamental to the interpretation of solution spectra.]

1939-1941: Beit Scientific Research Fellow to Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London; Extra-Mural Research in Chemical Defence, Ministry of Supply; Diploma of Imperial College 1941; University of London Ph.D. 1941 [At this time Imperial College was on a war footing. Rees worked under H.J. Emeleus as part of team investigating noxious war gases, including various fluorine and arsine compounds. By special arrangement, he was able to use this secret work for his Ph.D.]

1940: Part-time Lecturer in Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, Imperial College, University of London

1940-1944: Gas Identification Officer for the City of Westminster, City of Wandsworth [During the war, Rees also served as a fire-watcher.]

1941-1944: Research Chemist, Philips Electrical Industries, UK [Rees' study of fluorescent and phosphorescent materials led to an interest in the chemistry of the defect solid state.]

1942: Married Marion Mofflin, March

1944-1958: Head, Chemical Physics Section, CSIR/O Division of Industrial Chemistry [Ian W. Wark, Chief of the CSIR Division of Industrial Chemistry, persuaded Rees to head the new Chemical Physics Section, which later became the CSIRO Division Chemical Physics. The immediate task of the Section was to introduce to Australia a number of emerging chemico-physical methods, such as electron microscopy, electron diffraction, x-ray structure analysis, mass spectroscopy and infra-red spectroscopy. Before returning to Australia in 1944, Rees made an extensive series of visits to laboratories and instrument manufacturers in the US and UK to familiarise himself with these techniques. In addition to his supervisory role, Rees researched and published a number papers in the 1940s and 1950s on electron microscopy, electron diffraction, spectroscopy and solid state physics.]

1945: Rennie Medal, Royal Australian Chemistry Institute (RACI)

1948: Fellow, RACI

1948-1956: Editor, Reviews of Pure and Applied Chemistry and Proceedings of RACI

1951: H.G. Smith Medal, RACI; Fellow, Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science (ANZAAS)

1951-1953: Australian National Research Council, Member

1952: Liversidge Lecture, Royal Society of NSW

1954: Elected Fellow, Australian Academy of Science (AAS); Publication of Chemistry of the Defect Solid State by A.L.G. Rees, Methuen [This work was also translated into Russian and published in Moscow in 1956.]

1954-1958: Assistant Chief, CSIRO Division of Industrial Chemistry

1954-1968: Member, AAS National Committee for Pure and Applied Chemistry (1954-1968); Chairman, AAS National Committee for Pure and Applied Chemistry (1956-1965)

1957-1968: President, RACI Victorian Branch (1957-1958); RACI Council (1957-1959 and 1966-1968)

1958-1978: Chief, CSIRO Division of Chemical Physics [As Section Head/Divisional Chief of CSIRO Chemical Physics, Rees set up an instrument workshop capable of designing and constructing complex scientific instruments. He oversaw the development of many significant innovations, including high-resolution diffraction cameras, Alan Walsh's atomic absorption spectrometers, diffraction grating-ruling engines and oil-free vacuum pumps. Many of these instruments were manufactured locally on a commercial basis, reflecting Rees' important efforts to encourage an Australian scientific instrument industry. In the mid-1960s, the Division moved from Fishermen's Bend to the David Rivett Laboratory at Clayton.]

1959-1967: Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) Victorian Talks Advisory Committee (1959-1967); ABC National Talks Advisory Committee (1959)

1960: Chairman and Convenor, Organising Committee, 1st International Symposium on Chemistry of Natural Products (Australia)

1961-1970: Chairman, CSIRO Chemical Research Laboratories (CRL) [The Division of Industrial Chemistry had been reorganised as the CRL in 1958, with each section within it elevated to Divisional status. When foundation Director Ian Wark was transferred to the executive of CSIRO in 1961, the CRL was placed under the management of a Committee. Rees was Chairman of this Committee until the CRL was disbanded in 1970.]

1963: President, ANZAAS Section B (Chemistry)

1963-1973: Member, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Executive Committee and Bureau (1963-1973)

1964-1977: Chairman, AAS International Relations Committee (1964-1973); Member, AAS Science and Industry Forum (1967-1977)

1964-1973: Secretary (Physical Sciences), AAS (1964-1968); Foreign Secretary, AAS (1969-1973); Member, AAS Council (1963-1968 and 1969-1973)

1965-1971: Institute of Defence Science, Council

1966-1967: Vice-President, RACI

1967-1968: President, RACI

1967-1969: Vice-President, IUPAC

1968-1979: Member, Victoria Institute of Colleges (VIC) Board of Studies (1968-1979); Member, VIC Standing Committee on Higher Degrees (1969-1979); Chairman, VIC Standing Committee on Academic Policy (1971-1979); VIC Council (1978-1979) [During this period the State technical colleges, awarding certificates and diplomas, were transformed as Institutes of Technology, awarding diplomas, degrees and higher degrees; likewise several new institutions were developed as Colleges of Advanced Education. As a member of various VIC committees and the VIC Council, Rees was particularly influential in the establishment of standards for higher degrees courses.]

1969: President, XXII International Congress of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Sydney

1969-1971: President, IUPAC (1969-1971) [IUPAC was the biggest of the world's scientific unions. Rees succeeded Lord Todd as President of IUPAC, the only Australian to head this organisation.]

1969-1976: Member, International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) Executive Committee (1969-1972); Member, ICSU General Committee (1972-1976); ICSU Committee on Future Role and Structure (1970-1971); ICSU Standing Committee on Admissions (1972-1976)

1970: Einstein Memorial Lecture, Australian Institute of Physics

1970-1978: Member, UNESCO (Australia Commission) Committee for Natural Sciences

1971: Leighton Memorial Medal, RACI

1972-1979: ABC National Science Advisory Committee

1974-1980: Australian National Library, Advisory Committee on Science and Technology

1975-1978: UNISIST National Committee

1977: D.App.Sc. honoris causa, VIC

1978: Awarded CBE 'for services to the science of chemical physics,' January; Retired from CSIRO, May

1979-1980: Chairman, Independent External Review of Defence Science and Technology Organisation (Commonwealth Government); Member, Committee of Inquiry into Fluoridation of Water Supplies (Victorian State Government)

1980: The Australian Academy of Science: The First Twenty-Five Years, 1954-1979, edited by Rees and Frank Fenner

1981-1986: Member, Gippsland Institute of Advanced Education Council

1981-1989: Fellow, Faculty of Science, Monash University

1987: Wark Memorial Lecture, CSIRO

1989: Died, August

Published by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, June 2004
With support from Marion Rees, CSIRO Division of Materials Science and Technology, Ian Potter Foundation and The University of Melbourne
Listed by Rod Buchanan, Gavan McCarthy and Mark Scillio with Lisa O'Sullivan
HTML edition Ailie Smith
Updated 13 November 2007

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