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Biographical entry O'Brien, Ernest John (1914 - 1996)

6 December 1914
Renison Bell, Tasmania, Australia
January 1996
Agricultural chemist
Alternative Names
  • O'Brien, Jack


Jack O'Brien worked in the Victorian State Laboratories 1938-1979, becoming Chief of the Division of Agricultural Chemistry in 1969 and Coordinator, State Laboratories in the Premier's Department from 1976. He was involved with the chemistry of cereals and pesticides.


Born Renison Bell, Tasmania, 6 December 1914. Died January 1996. Educated Gordon Institute of Technology (chemistry and engineering) and University of Melbourne (?) (BSc 1950). Munitions Supply Laboratories, Vacuum Oil Company, cereal testing, State Laboratories 1938-79, seconded to the Guncotton (nitrocellulose) Factory in Ballarat during World War II, Chief, Division of Agricultural Chemistry, Department of Agriculture 1969-76, Coordinator, State Laboratories, Premier's Department 1976-79. Foundation member, Cereal Chemists Group (later Cereal Chemistry Division), Royal Australian Chemical Institute, co-founder and first president, Association of Professional Scientists of Australia, commissioned to report on environmentally hazardous chemicals for the Australian Environment Council Working Group 1977 and to the Health Commission's Committee of Enquiry into Congenital Abnormalities 1978. Colombo Plan Adviser in Ceylon 1957, Australian representative to the FAO/WHO Symposium on the safe and economic use of pesticides in South East Asia 1973. Chair, Royal Australian Chemical Institute Council Committee on Hazardous Research Materials 1976-79. Bill Jewell Memorial Lecture, Analytical Division, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1975, Founders Award, Cereal Chemistry Division, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1986.

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