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Biographical entry Watt, John

Mineral Physicist and Nuclear physicist


John Watt worked at the Australian Atomic Energy Commission (AAEC) from 1956 to 1982 and as a Chief Research Scientist with the CSIRO from 1982 to 1997. He is known for his research into on-line analysis applications in the minerals, coal and oil industries, which resulted in the development of the Coalscan range of mineral analysis instruments for the coal industry. These instruments revolutionised quality control in the coal industry in Australia and overseas and vastly improved energy efficiency, reduced waste output and safety margins, while thus reducing production costs by at least US$50 million per year in Australia alone. Watt and his team received much recognition for this development, including the 1992 Australia Prize.



Education - Master of Science, University of Sydney
c. 1956 - c. 1967
Career position - Research Officer, Australian Atomic Energy Commission (AAEC)
1967 - c. 1982
Career position - Head of the Radioisotope Applications Research Section, AAEC Isotope Division
1982 - 1985
Career position - Chief Research Scientist and Officer-in-Charge of the CSIRO Division of Mineral Physics' Lucas Heights and Port Melbourne Facilities
Award - Australian Design Award, awarded by the Industrial Design Council of Australia
1985 - 1995
Career position - Assistant Chief of the CSIRO Division of Mineral and Process Engineering
Award - Australian Nuclear Association Award
Award - Australia Prize, joint recipient for Coalscan technology
1995 - 1997
Career position - CSIRO Fellow, CSIRO Division of Mineral and Process Engineering
Award - Member of the Order of Australia for service to the Australian mineral industry
Award - Centenary Medal for service to Australian society in applied physics

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Rebecca Rigby