Emeritus Professor Raymond (Ray) Stalker AO

Professor Ray Stalker was a researcher and pioneer in the field of space engineering. Born in Victoria, he attended Geelong Grammar before completing his education at The University of Melbourne and The University of Sydney. During his studies he was awarded a university medal in aeronautical engineering, and the de Havilland prize in aeronautics.

He began working at UQ in 1977, where he initiated the largest program in hypersonics and space propulsion in the Southern Hemisphere, attracting rare international contracts from NASA. He became Australia’s first Professor of Space Engineering in 1988. He is well-known for designing the free piston shock tunnel – referred to as “Stalker tubes” – which enabled testing of supersonic speeds. Professor Stalker also designed the first scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) to produce more thrust than drag.

Professor Stalker received a number of awards and honours throughout his life, including fellowships from the Australian Academy of Science (1989), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (2001), and the UK’s Royal Aeronautical Society (2013). He was awarded a Doctor of Engineering honoris causa in from the University in 1999 and became an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2003. He passed away in 2014.


Doctor of Engineering honoris causa