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Biographical entry Watt, William Shand (1876 - 1958)

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    William Shand Watt, courtesy of Bureau of Meteorology.

2 January 1876
Green Island, Dunedin, New Zealand
15 April 1958
Brighton, Victoria, Australia
Mining engineer and Meteorologist


William Watt joined the newly formed Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology as Tasmanian divisional officer in 1911 and eventually rose to become Commonwealth meteorologist, a post he held from 1931 until his retirement in 1940.


William Shand Watt had been assistant to Henry Hunt and was appointed as Commonwealth Meteorologist following successful appeal against the promotion of Henry Barkly. He presided over a difficult period for the Bureau with little support for its scientific development and little awareness in government of the imminent need for major expansion to meet the needs of civil aviation and subsequently the war effort. He participated in the 1935 IMO (International Meteorological Organization) Conference of Directors in Warsaw and the 1937 meeting of IMO Regional Association V (South West Pacific) in Wellington. A Hundred Years of Science and Service, Bureau of Meteorology, 2001.


Education - Associateship in Mining and Certificate of Metallurgical Chemistry and Assaying completed at the Otago School of Mines, New Zealand
Career position - Associateship in Metallurgy completed at the Otago School of Mines, New Zealand
c. 1904 - 1911
Career position - Lecturer in Mining Engineering at the Zeehan School of Mines in Tasmania
1911 - 1921
Career position - Tasmanian Divisional Officer for the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology
1921 - 1927
Career position - Head of the Climatological Section of the Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne
1927 - 1931
Career position - Assistant Director of the Bureau
1931 - 1940
Career position - Commonwealth Meteorologist

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William Shand Watt
Bureau of Meteorology


Rosanne Walker