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Biographical entry McCracken, Kenneth Gordon (1933 - )


7 August 1933
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Geophysicist, Mineral Physicist and Physicist


Dr Kenneth McCracken became involved in space science early in its history and has conducted pioneering research since the 1950s. From 1959-1970 he focused on cosmic ray research, resulting in technology that would protect astronauts from harmful cosmic radiation produced by sun flares. He was Professor of Physics at Adelaide University (1966-1969), during which time he also did pioneering research and development in the field of x-ray astronomy. He was the Founding Chief of the CSIRO's Division of Mineral Physics and Director of the CSIRO Office of Space Science. In these positions he was involved in the development of remote sensor technology for mineral deposit exploration using the NASA LANDSAT satellite. He worked with the CSIRO until his retirement in 1989.



Education - Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc (Hons)) completed at the University of Tasmania
Education - Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) completed at the University of Tasmania
1959 - 1961
Career position - Research Associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Career position - Consultant to the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre, USA
1961 - 1962
Career position - Assistant Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1962 - 1966
Career position - Professor at the Southwest Centre for Advanced Studies in Dallas, Texas, USA
1963 - 1965
Career position - Member of the NASA Space Radiation Protection Committee
1966 - 1969
Career position - Professor at the University of Adelaide
Career position - Consultant to the Atomic Energy Commission of India
1970 - 1972
Career position - Officer-in-charge of the Mineral Physics Section at CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)
Education - Doctor of Science (DSc) received from the University of Adelaide
1972 - 1984
Career position - Honorary Professor at Macquarie University, New South Wales
1972 - 1984
Career position - Foundation Chief of the CSIRO Division of Mineral Physics
1979 -
Award - Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences (FTS)
1982 - 1984
Career position - Board member of the Australian Mineral Foundation
1984 - 1989
Career position - Director of the CSIRO Office for Space Science and Applications
Career position - Member of the National Committee on Space Engineering at the Institute of Engineers, Australia
Award - Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA)
12 June 1989
Award - Appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to space science and technology
Award - Haddon Forrester King Medal, Australian Academy of Science

Related Awards

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Crompton, R. W., Dracoulis, G. D., Lewis, B. R., Mccracken, K. G. and Williams, J. S, 'John Henry Carver 1926-2004', Historical records of Australian science, 22 (2011), 53-79. Details


Resource Sections

Rosanne Walker & Rebecca Rigby