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Biographical entry Harper, Herbert Reah (1871 - 1956)

Born
23 June 1871
London, England
Died
27 July 1956
Toorak, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Electrical engineer

Summary

Herbert Reah Harper worked for the Victorian State Electricity Commission from its inception in 1919 until 1936. Prior to this he was employed by the Department of Mines, the Melbourne City Council and the Brush Electrical Engineering Co. (England). While working for the latter, he was sent to Malta to oversee the installation of a power supply system and was then sent to Brush's subsidiary company, the Electric Light and Traction Co. in Melbourne (1899). During an overseas trip for the Department of Mines, Harper discovered the usefulness of brown coal as an energy source. When he returned to Australia, he was appointed to the government's brown coal advisory commission whose report instigated brown coal-mining and a power plant at Yallourn, in Victoria's La Trobe Valley. Herbert Harper's efforts saw the industrialisation of Victoria based on cheap power supply. He was awarded the Kernot (The Melbourne University Engineering Foundation) and Peter Nicol Russell (Institution of Engineers, Australia) Medals in recognition of his achievements.

Details

Events

c. 1891 - 1893
Career position - Apprentice at Rennoldson Electrical Engineering Company in England
1893 - 1901
Career position - Electrical Engineer at Brush Electrical Engineering Co., UK
1895 - 1896
Career position - Supervisor, then Chief Engineer of the Malta electrical supply system
1899 - 1901
Career position - Assistant at the Electrical Light and Traction Co.in Melbourne
1901 - c. 1911
Career position - Electrical Engineer at the Melbourne City Council
1911 - 1919
Career position - Electrical Engineer at the Department of Mines
1918
Career position - Inaugural President of the Electrical Supply Association of Australia
1919 - 1936
Career position - Inaugural Chief Engineer at State Electricity Commission (SEC) of Victoria
1933
Career position - President of the Institution of Engineers, Australia
1935
Career position - World tour of electrical works for the SEC
1936
Life event - Retired
1937 - 1938
Career position - Consultant to the New South Wales Government
1941 - 1945
Career position - Member of the Army Mechanization Board

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Harper, Herbert Reah, 'Notes descriptive of the electric supply station of the Melbourne City Council (Paper & Discussion)', Proceedings of the Victorian Institute of Engineers vol. VII, 1907, pp. 18-26. Also available at http://hdl.handle.net/11343/24365. Details
  • Lorimer, G. & Harper, Herbert Reah, 'Fuel Calorimetry (Demonstrations & Discussion)', Proceedings of the Victorian Institute of Engineers vol. X, 1910, pp. 81-88, 95-104. Also available at http://hdl.handle.net/11343/24447. Details

Online Resources

Annette Alafaci