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Biographical entry Charters, William Wallace Stewart (Bill) (1935 - 2017)


10 February 1935
Shanghai, China
15 March 2017
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Bill Charters was a pioneer in renewable energy and a world authority on the design performance and utilisation of renewable energy systems. He held a personal chair in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Melbourne from 1992 to 2000, and was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering from 1988 to 1997. For the University Charters was in the forefront of the commercial application of academic achievements. His work on solar thermal systems and solar vapour compression heat pumps resulted in a number of patents and earned him several awards including the CSIRO Research Medal. For over 25 years Charters was a consultant to governments and international agencies, including the United Nations, on ecologically acceptable and environmentally viable energy solutions. He was active in the International Solar Energy Society, being President from 1979 to 1981.



Education - BSc (Eng) (hons), University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Education - MSE, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A
1956 - 1959
Career position - Development Engineer, Aero Engine Division, Rolls Royce Ltd, United Kingdom
1959 - 1962
Career position - Lieutenant, Royal Navy
1962 - 1965
Career position - Lecturer, University of the West Indies
1965 - 1974
Career position - Senior Lecturer, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Melbourne
1974 - 1992
Career position - Reader, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Melbourne
1979 - 1981
Career position - President, International Solar Energy Society
1980 - 1988
Career position - Chairman, Victorian Solar Energy Council
Award - CSIRO Research Award
1988 - 1997
Career position - Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Melbourne
Award - Achievement Through Action Award, International Solar Energy Society
Award - Christopher Weeks Memorial Award, International Solar Energy Society
1992 - 2000
Career position - Professor (personal chair), Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Melbourne
Award - Farrington Daniels Award, International Solar Energy Society
1995 - 2017
Award - Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
1998 -
Career position - Director, ACRE Ltd
Award - CSIRO Research Medal
2000 -
Career position - Director, CVC REEF
Life event - Retired
2000 - 2017
Career position - Emeritus Professor, University of Melbourne
2002 - 2006
Career position - Director, CRC for Sensor Signal and Information Processing
2003 -
Career position - Chairman, CRC for Spatial Information
2003 - 2005
Career position - Director, CRC for Catchment Hydrology
Award - Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to engineering through the research and development of renewable energy technology, to international relations, to tertiary education, and to the Australian Co-operative Research Centre program

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Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Anon, 'Bill Charters was a noted renewable energy pioneer', Focus, 202 (2017), 53. Details


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

Rosanne Walker and Helen Cohn