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Biographical entry Weiss, Donald Eric (1924 - 2008)


4 October 1924
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
29 July 2008
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Industrial chemist


Don Weiss was co-inventor and primarily responsible for the development of the "Sirotherm" desalination and the "Sirofloc" water clarification processes. He was also responsible for initiating and overseeing the research and development that resulted in a new reconstituted wood product "Scrimber", a new nylon paper wood bale and replacement of asbestos fibres by cellulose fibres in asbestos-cement products.


Born 4 October 1924. OBE 1976. Educated University of Adelaide (BSc 1945, DSc 1960). Shift Chemist, Associated Pulp and Paper Mills 1945-46; Development Chemist, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories 1947; Chemical Engineering Section, Division of Industrial Chemistry, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research 1948; transferred later to the Physical Chemistry Section (now Division of Applied Chemistry); Chief Research Scientist I 1965-71, Chief Research Scientist II 1971, Assistant Chief, Division of Applied Chemistry and Officer-in-Charge, Forest Products Laboratory 1971-73, Chief, Division of Chemical Technology 1973-79, Director, Planning and Evaluation Advisory Unit 1979-84. Rennie Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1951; Russell Grimwade Prize, University of Melbourne 1955; H.G. Smith Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1966; Olle Prize, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1971; Fellow, Australian Academy of Science 1971; Foundation Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering 1976; Leighton Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1977; Applied Research Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1982; CSIRO Medal 1989; Society of the Chemical Industry London Award 1992. Chairman, Victorian Branch, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1970-71; President, Royal Australian Chemical Institute 1983; President, Australian Water and Wastewater Association, Victorian Branch 1973-74.

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Ewers, W. E. and Weiss, D. E., 'Keith Leonard Sutherland 1916-1980', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 5, no. 2, 1981, pp. 78-88. Also available at Details
  • Spurling, Thomas H., 'Donald Eric Weiss 1915-1998', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 22, 2011, pp. 152-70. Details

Online Resources

See also

Rosanne Walker