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Biographical entry O'Donnell, James Hamilton (1934 - 1995)

3 September 1934
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
29 April 1995
Physical chemist


James O'Donnell worked in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Queensland 1964-1995, starting as a lecturer and becoming a professor in 1986. His research was in the area of polymer and radiation chemistry.


Born Perth, 3 September 1934. Died Brisbane, 29 April 1995. Educated University of Western Australia (BSc (hons) 1954) and Leeds University (PhD 1963, DSc 1986). Development Chemist, ICI Australia Yarraville Chemical Factory 1955-56, Research Chemist, ICI Australia Central Research Laboratories, Ascot Vale 1957-58, Senior Demonstrator, Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Leeds 1959-62, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn 1963, lecturer in physical chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Queensland 1964-69, senior lecturer 1970-75, reader 1976-85, professor of chemistry (personal chair) 1986-87, professor of physical chemistry 1988-95, helped establish Polymer Materials and Radiation Group, University of Queensland 1970s. Battaerd-Jordan Polymer Medal, Polymer Division, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1982, HG. Smith Memorial Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1983, Leighton Memorial Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1990. President, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1986, president, Pacific Polymer Federation 1993, chairman, Australian Academy of Science's National Committee for Chemistry 1992-95, chairman, International Relations Committee, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1992-95, inaugural chairman, Royal Australian Chemical Institute National Chemistry Week Committee, where he initiated National Chemistry Week 1981. Commemorated by the O'Donnell Schools Lecture (formerly Queensland Schools Lecture), The Jim O'Donnell International Travel Awards, open to all post-graduate members of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, and The O'Donnell Young Polymer Scientists Prize (Polymer Division, Royal Australian Chemical Institute).

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