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Biographical entry Bilger, Robert William (1935 - 2015)


22 April 1935
Rustenburg, South Africa
2 October 2015
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Bob Bilger was an engineer who made significant contributions in combustion research and fluid mechanics. His research included developing the "Bilger mixture fraction" which expresses the mixture fraction that preserves stoichiometry regardless of differential diffusion effects. He also devised the now widely-used Conditional Movement Closure (CMC) approach for modelling turbulent reacting flows. Bilger's interest in environmental pollution included research into mechanisms of formation of oxides of nitrogen. He took a leading role in the introduction of stringent controls on sulphur, hydrocarbon, lead, asbestos and other atmospheric pollutants. At the University of Sydney, where he was Professor of Mechanical Engineering from 1976 to 2006, he established the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering to facilitate research in collaboration with industry. He also conducted the world's largest photochemical smog chamber. Bilger was instrumental in the initiation and success of the International Workshops on Measurements and Computations in Turbulent Non-Premixed Flames and the Asia Pacific Conference Series on Combustion (ASPACC).



Life event - Moved to New Zealand with his family
Education - BSc, B.Eng., Auckland University College, New Zealand
1957 - 1960
Award - Rhodes Scholarship, University of Oxford
1960 - 1962
Career position - Engineer, International, London
Education - DPhil, University of Oxford
1962 - 1964
Career position - Project Engineer, Northern Research and Engineering Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
1965 - 1974
Career position - Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, University of Sydney Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, University of Sydney
1975 - 1976
Career position - Associate Professor, University of Sydney
1976 - 2006
Career position - Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sydney
1980 - 1982
Career position - Chair, Australian and New Zealand Section, Combustion Institute
1980 - 1982
Career position - Interim Director, Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, University of Sydney
1982 - 1985
Career position - Director, Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, University of Sydney
1982 - 2000
Career position - Member, Board of Directors, Combustion Institute
1987 - 2015
Career position - Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Award - Silver Medal (with A. R. Masri), Combustion Institute
Award - Ya. B. Zeldovich Gold Medal(with Alex Klimenko), Combustion Institute
1994 - 1998
Career position - Vice-President (International), Combustion Institute
Award - Centenary Medal for service to Australian society in energy and power engineering research and development
2003 - 2015
Award - Fellow, Australian Academy of Science
2006 -
Career position - Emeritus Professor, School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, University of Sydney
Life event - Retired
Award - Inaugural Fellow, Australian Fluid Mechanics Society

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Private hands (Bilger, R.W.)

  • Robert William Bilger - Records, 1965 - 1987; Private hands (Bilger, R.W.). Details

Published resources

Journal Articles


See also

  • Who's who in Australia 2012 (Melbourne: Crown Content Pty Ltd, 2012), 2430 pp. Details
  • Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Technology in Australia 1788-1988, Online edn, Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, Melbourne, 3 May 2000, Details

McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn