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Biographical entry Bird, J. Roger (1927 - 2001)

Born
26 August 1927
Died
22 November 2001
Occupation
Physicist

Summary

J. Roger Bird was a technical expert whose work helped advance many diverse fields of science including hydrology, archaeology and chemistry. During his postgraduate studies at the University of Melbourne he even built a mass spectrometer. Later Bird went on to be part of the team which built the first proton microprobe. Roger Bird left for the United Kingdom in around 1955 where he worked at the British Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Hartwell for almost ten years. He returned to Australia in 1964 and joined the predecessor of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). When he retired from ANSTO in 1992 he was group leader of the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry facility. Bird was a world recognised expert in the analysis of obsidian (volcanic glass) and chlorine content of rain and ground water. He was an author of numerous publications and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics.

Details

Receiving a scholarship to study science at the University of Melbourne, J. Roger Bird went on to complete a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) there. Afterwards he moved to British Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Hartwell where he researched nuclear reactions. From 1964 Bird spent his entire career with the predecessor of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). Initially he worked on metal analysis composition and studied nuclear reactor. He then spent twenty years transferring his nuclear physics skills to other scientific fields. With the non-destructive, highly sensitive nuclear measurement techniques Bird was able to help archaeologists date all types of material including obsidian, pottery and bronze. The techniques were also useful to other scientists for the study of pigments, polymers, chlorine content of water, and solar cells to name a few. Bird retired in 1992, but continued to research and write about obsidian.

Events

1944 - 1946
Education - Bachelor of Science (BSc) completed at the University of Melbourne
1955
Education - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) completed at the University of Melbourne
1956 - 1963
Career position - Nuclear Physicist at the British Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Hartwell, UK
1964 - 1992
Career position - Nuclear Physicist then Group Leader at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
1998
Career position - Accelerator Mass Spectrometry co-authored

Published resources

Online Resources

Annette Alafaci