Emeritus Professor Robert William (Bob) Bilger FAA FTSE was one of the world’s leading contributors to combustion engineering modelling of turbulent reacting flows. His work also encompassed the broader area of fluid mechanics of reacting flows, pollutant formation and control, and air pollution.
Born in Rustenburg, South Africa, on 22 April 1935, Bob studied for a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics at Auckland University College. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 1956 and, in 1961, received a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford.
In the 1960s, after working as an engineer with the Northern Research and Engineering Corporation, in London and then in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Bob embarked on a career at the University of Sydney. Beginning as a senior lecturer, he rose to the role of Professor of Mechanical Engineering in 1976, publishing in the fields of combustion science and air pollution. Over his long and distinguished career, he served on the editorial boards of a number of publications including Combustion Science and Technology, Combustion and Flame and Experiments in Fluids, and gave a number of invited keynote lectures, in Australia and internationally.
Bob was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 1987. He was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2003, serving on Sectional Committee 5: Applied Physical and Engineering Sciences from 2006 to 2010 and chairing the committee from 2008 to 2010. He was a member of the Asia Exchange Committee from 2003 to 2007.
Dr Leo Michael Clarebrough OAM FAA passed away on 4 December. Leo was elected to the Academy in 1978. He served as a member of Council from 1985 to 1987, was Secretary Physical Sciences from 1988 to 1992, and was a member of Academy standing committees and consultative committees. A full obituary for Dr Clarebrough will be included in our next newsletter.
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