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Biographical entry Cook, Alan Cecil (1935 - 2011)

22 May 1935
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom
17 November 2011
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia


Alan Cook was a world-renowned organic petrologist, whose expertise was much sought coal and petroleum companies around the world. The focus of his work was on the sedimentology of coal measures, oil shales, coking behaviour, coal macerals, and basin heating models. His research into Australian Permian coals was critical in developing the overseas market for Australian coals. With his students Cook developed the use of Vitrinite reflectance as a means of predicting potential generation of oil and gas, a process now standard in the industry. Cook was active in professional organisations including the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the International Committee for Coal Petrology of which he was President from 1999 to 2007. He also served on editorial boards of Australian and international journals including Australian Coal and the International Journal of Mathematical Geology. In retirement he continued to run his consulting practice Keiraville Konsultants providing petrographic analyses for the coal and petroleum industries. The University of Wollongong holds over 10,000 geological samples stemming from Cook's work, with nearly 23,000 held by Keiraville Konsultants.



Education - BA, University of Cambridge
1957 - 1959
Career position - Prospecting officer, National Coal Board, United Kingdom
Life event - Migrated to Australia
1959 - 1962
Career position - Experimental Officer, CSIRO Coal Research Section
1960 - 2011
Career position - Member, Geological Society of Australia
1962 - 1964
Career position - District Geologist, Joint Coal Board
1964 - 1973
Career position - Lecturer, Metallurgy Department, Wollongong University College, University of New South Wales
1968 - 2011
Career position - Member, Royal Society of New South Wales
Education - PhD, University of Cambridge
1973 - 1990
Career position - Foundation Professor of Geology, University of Wollongong
1975 - 1976
Career position - Chairman, Academic Senate, University of Wollongong
1976 - 1977
Career position - Visiting Research Scientist, Kansas Geological Survey, U.S.A.
1978 - 2011
Career position - Director, Keiraville Konsultants
1989 - 2011
Award - Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Career position - Chairman, Organising Committee, International Committee for Coal Petrology Meeting, Wollongong, New South Wales
Award - DSc (honoris causa), University of Cambridge
Life event - Retired
Award - Reinhardt Thiessen Medal, International Committee for Coal Petrology
1999 - 2007
Career position - President, International Committee for Coal Petrology
Award - Centenary Medal for service to Australian society in energy and mineral resources

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Helen Cohn