James Allen AO

Mr Chancellor,

Dr James Albert Allen graduated with First Class Honours in Chemistry at this university and was a university medallist in 1948. This followed service as a navigator in The Royal Australian Air Force from 1943 to 1945. 

He continued his interests in chemistry at The University of Queensland, graduating with a MSc and then moved to Bristol where he obtained his PhD in 1950. Then followed a stream of scholarships and other distinctions, culminating in the distinguished award of The Leighton Medal of The Royal Australian Chemical Institute.

Jim Allen served as President of the institute and was a member of the first council of the Academy of Technological Science from 1959 to 1971. He was at the Newcastle University College (from 1965, The University of Newcastle), with appointments successively as Associate Professor of Chemistry; member of the university council; Deputy Chairman of the academic senate; Deputy Vice-Chancellor; and Emeritus Professor.

For the five years to 1976, Dr Allen was Executive Officer CSIRO, Canberra, leaving there to return to Queensland as Chairman of the Board of Advanced Education, the position from which he has recently retired.

An academic does not become a Professor at the age of 36 years, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at 44, and soon after Executive Officer of CSIRO, without a high reputation as a scientist and the possession of considerable administrative skills. In his various administrative capacities, Dr Allen had a major influence on the transformation of Newcastle from a college of the university of New South Wales, to an independent university. He is the author of several books, and has a most impressive list of scholarly publications to his credit.

Dr Allen has been an outstanding graduate of this University whose talents have subsequently been recognised in several spheres outside this state.

Mr Chancellor, for his major contributions to science and to the administration of science and education, I present to you Dr James Albert Allen, Officer of The Order of Australia, Master of Science of this University, Doctor of Philosophy of The University of Bristol, Fellor of The Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Fellow of The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences, Fellow of The Australian College of Education, Fellow of The Australian Institute of Management, for the award of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Honorary award citation


Doctor of Laws honoris causa