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Biographical entry Schwerdtfeger, Peter (1935 - 2013)

Born
23 December 1935
Göttingen, Germany
Died
20 August 2013
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Occupation
Meteorologist

Summary

Peter Schwerdtfeger was a meteorologist whose interests included airborne and boundary layer meteorology; solar and atmospheric radiation; the use of aircraft in atmospheric science and remote sensing; regional climatology; glaciology, particularly sea-ice and icebergs; environment and land-use, remote sensing imagery and GIS. His close involvement with Antarctic meteorology began in 1962 when he initiated and supervised a long term continuing program of micrometeorology and sea ice studies. In 1971 he became Professor of Meteorology at Flinders University, the first such appointment in Australia. Through his efforts the University became recognised internationally as a centre for research in atmospheric sciences. Schwerdtfeger was co-founder of Airborne Research Australia and founding Director of the Flinders Research Institute for Atmospheric and Marine Sciences. The Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows, of which he was the foundation President, named its biennial award the Peter Schwerdtfeger Award. The Schwerdtfeger Automatic Weather Station in Antarctica was named in his honour.

Details

Events

1957
Education - BSc, University of Melbourne
1959
Education - MSc, University of Melbourne
1959 - 1962
Career position - Teaching fellow, McGill University, Canada
1962
Education - PhD, McGill University, Canada
1962 - 1971
Career position - Lecturer, Department of Meteorology, University of Melbourne
1965
Career position - Visiting Professor, University of Alaska
1969
Career Position - Visiting Professor, University of Köln
1969
Award - Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship
1971 - 1999
Career position - Professor of Meteorology, Flinders University of South Australia
1972 - 1993
Career position - Director, Flinders Institute of Atmospheric and Marine Sciences
1976
Career position - Visiting Professor, University of München
1977 - 1980
Career position - Dean, School of Earth Sciences, Flinders University
1977 - 1984
Career position - Chairman, South Australian Country Fire Services Board
1982 - 1990
Career Position - Member, South Australian Air Pollution Appeal Board Clean Air Committee
1983 - 2009
Career position - President, Alexander von Humboldt Fellows Association in Australia
1984 - 1990
Career position - Vice-President, International Glaciological Society
1986 - 1988
Career position - Member, Australian Marine Sciences and Technologies Advisory Council
1986 - 1989
Career position - Chairman, Australian National Committee for Atmospheric Sciences
1988
Career position - Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
1991
Award - Max Planck Research Prize, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany)
1995 - 2013
Career position - Co-founder (later Senior Advisor), Airborne Research Australia
1999
Life event - Retired
2000
Career position - Professor Emeritus, Flinders University
2001
Award - Centenary Medal for service to Australian society in atmospheric and environmental science
2002 - 2006
Career position - Member, Bureau of Meteorology Advisory Board
2003 - 2013
Career position - Member, Antarctic Science Advisory Committee, Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition
2010
Award - Distinguished member, Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Zillman, John, 'Obituary: Professor Peter Schwerdtfeger, 23 December 1935-20 August 2013', Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, vol. 26, no. 5, 2013, p. 85. Details

Online Resources

  • Zillman, John W., 'The remarkable German contribution to Australian meteorology', Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, vol. 127, no. 1, 2015, pp. 110-6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RS15013. Details

Helen Cohn