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Biographical entry Swanson, Thomas Baikie (1910 - 1995)

CBE, FRACI

Born
5 October 1910
Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
Died
18 August 1995
Australia
Occupation
Chemist

Summary

Thomas Baikie Swanson worked for ICI Australia from 1945-71, serving as Executive Deputy Chairman from 1964. He was chairman of the Australian Commission on Advanced Education from 1971-76 and founding chairman of the Australian Maritime College Council from 1976-83.

Details

After completing a chemistry degree at the University of Adelaide (MSc 1938), Thomas Baikie Swanson took up a lectureship there in pharmaceutical chemistry. One year later Swanson moved to New South Wales to take charge of the newly formed Department of Chemistry at the University of New England. Wanting a change from academia, Swanson joined ICI in 1939. Initially he worked as a technician in the area of pharmaceutics, then the biological and general chemical fields. Within six years he was made General Manager of the Chemical Group, then an Executive Director from 1955 and Executive Deputy Chairman from 1964.

Thomas Swanson's reputation was now well established. He was invited to chair many commissions, including the Australian Commission on Advanced Education (1971-76), the Swanson Committee of Inquiry into the Trade Practices Commission, and the Australian Maritime College Council. Swanson also served as Commissioner to the Victorian Health Commission (1978-80), President of the Australian Chemical Industry Council, President of the Victorian Branch of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and National President from 1970-71. He was awarded the Leighton Medal (Royal Australian Chemical Institute) in 1972 and a CBE in 1976 for his service to education and industry.

Events

1938
Education - Master of Science (MSc) completed at the University of Adelaide
1938
Career position - Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Adelaide
1939 - 1945
Career position - Head of the Department of Chemistry at the University of New England
1945 - 1952
Career position - Technician at ICI Australia
1953 - 1954
Career position - General Manager of the Chemical Group at ICI Australia
1955 - 1963
Career position - Executive Director of the Chemical Group at ICI Australia
1962
Career position - President of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Victorian branch
1964 -
Career position - Executive Deputy Chairman of ICI Australia
1968 - ?
Career position - Tedlands beef farming partnership established
1970 - 1971
Career position - President of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute
c. 1970 - c. 1980
Career position - Chairman of the Eastern Nitrogen and Australian Fertilisers
1971 - 1976
Career position - Chairman of the Australian Commission on Advanced Education
1972
Award - Leighton Memorial Medal received from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute
1976
Award - Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
1976 - 1983
Career position - Founding Chairman of the Australian Maritime College Council in Launceston
1978 - 1980
Career position - Chair of the Swanson Committee of Inquiry into the Trade Practices Commission and Commissioner, Victorian Health Commission

Published resources

Online Resources

Rosanne Walker & Annette Alafaci