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Biographical entry Ritchie, Ian McKay (1936 - 2014)


18 March 1936
Tidworth, United Kingdom
12 August 2014
Perth, Western Australia, Australia


Ian Ritchie was an expert on corrosion science and hydrometallurgy, whose research interests included metal/gas and metal/solution reactions, gold processing, lime chemistry and the Becher Process. After more than 20 years at the Universities of Melbourne and Western Australia, Ritchie became Professor of Chemistry at Murdoch University, and in 1992, Director of the A. J. Parker CRC for Hydrometallurgy. Due to his research activities, particularly in electrochemistry, oxidation/reduction studies and kinetics, the discipline of hydrometallurgy was greatly enhanced. Under his guidance, the Parker Centre became internationally recognised for its hydrometallurgy research. It's focus was to provide technical solutions to the minerals industry and, in some cases, offered significant advances in efficiency with resulting financial or environmental benefits to end users. Ritchie received a number of awards in recognition of his research and had a significant volume of published work.



1959 - 1961
Career position - Research and Development Engineer, Transitron Electronic Corporation, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Life event - Moved to Australia
1962 - 1965
Career position - Senior Demonstrator, University of Melbourne
Education - PhD, University of Melbourne
1965 - 1967
Career position - Lecturer, University of Melbourne
1968 - 1971
Career position - Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Award - Grimwade Prize Industrial Science, University of Melbourne
1972 - 1983
Career position - Associate Professor, Department of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry, University of Western Australia
Award - Australian Corrosion Medal, Australasian Corrosion Association
1984 - 2002
Career position - Professor of Chemistry, Murdoch University
1986 - 1988
Career position - Chair, Board of Research and Postgraduate Studies, Murdoch University
Career position - Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research), Murdoch University
Career position - Visiting Professor, University of Utah
1992 - 2001
Career position - Director, A. J. Parker CRC for Hydrometallurgy
1993 - 2014
Career position - Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering
Award - Applied Research (R G Becher) Medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
Award - Western Australian Citizen of the Year (Professions)
Award - Stokes Medal for Electrochemistry, Royal Australian Chemical Institute
Award - DSc, Cambridge University
Award - President's Medal, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Award - Honorary DSc, Murdoch University
Award - Vice-Chancellor's Excellence in Research Award (Distinguished Researcher), Murdoch University
Award - Centenary Medal for service to Australian society and science in hydrometallurgy
2001 - 2014
Career position - Fellow, Australian Academy of Science (FAA)
Award - Honorary DSc, Murdoch University
2002 - 2014
Career position - Emeritus Professor, Murdoch University
Award - Western Australian Premier's Prize for Achievement in Science
Award - Wadsworth Award for Extractive Metallurgy, Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (U.S.A.)
8 June 2014
Award - Appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to science in the field of chemistry and hydrometallurgy, as an adacemic and educator, and to fostering technical innovation in business and industry

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Anon, 'Ian Ritchie showed the way in WA', Focus, vol. 186, 2014, p. 48. Details
  • Macleod, Ian, 'Obituary: Ian McKay Ritchie, corrosion expert', Chemistry in Australia, vol. 2015, April, 2015, p. 29. Details
  • Power, Gregory P., Ritchie, M. Ann, Drok, Kitty J. and Macleod, Ian D., 'Ian Mackay Ritchie 1936 - 2014', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 28, no. 1, 2017, pp. 50-7. Details

Online Resources

Helen Cohn