Mervyn Paterson exploited a background in metallurgical engineering and the physics of metals as the basis for a long and influential career in earth sciences, mainly at the Australian National University. Recognising the need for specialized equipment for experimental rock deformation, Mervyn made a highly distinctive contribution through his design and construction of a series of machines of progressively increasing sophistication for laboratory studies of the mechanical behaviour of rocks under conditions of high pressure and temperature. The new insights thus obtained in the laboratory have found widespread application in understanding the behaviour of the Earth’s crust and underlying mantle, notably within the disciplines of structural geology and geodynamics.
This memoir was originally published in Historical Records of Australian Science, vol.33, no.1, 2022. It was written by Ian Jackson.
© 2022 Australian Academy of Science