Alumni stories

Many alumni have great stories to tell. Our community is a place where you can share your experiences and let us all know about your significant projects, the impact your work has had, the trials and tribulations of research or the enjoyment you get from voluntary work.

Whether it be stories from your time with CSIRO teams, or tales from life beyond the lab, we’d love to hear what you’ve been up to.

Please tell us your story

If you would like to learn more about our greatest innovations and discoveries across the decades, please visit CSIROpedia. Here you can read brief biographies of the people responsible. CSIROpedia focuses on achievements that have been recognised by major honours and awards or research that has had significant commercial outcomes or benefit to society.

Read some of our alumni stories

Malcolm Wright - a distinguished pedologist who contributed much to knowledge of Australian soils and landscapes died in Adelaide on […]

18 October 1926 —13 July 2023 By Colin Beaton The death of Ross Gilby, a 65 year resident of Canberra, […]

Sadly Karl Armstrong, longstanding retired CSIRO enquiries team member, has passed away at 75, following his heavy battle with advanced […]

Rod worked at the Belmont site on Henry Street (where he also lived) for 26 years starting as Turner and […]

John Joseph Connolly 19 June 1938 - 17 February 2024 John’s niece, Leah Lucas has prepared some lovely words below […]

Bruce Ayling worked at CSIRO in North Ryde from at the early ‘60’s until his retirement 30 years ago. He […]

We would like to share the sad news that Dr John Middleton recently passed away. John spent his entire working […]

Dr Nick Cutmore is one of our CSIRO Alumni members and is the Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer of […]

We are sad to share the news that Bob Hunter passed away in January 2024. Bob’s whole professional career was […]

William (Bill) John Doughty - passed away in January 2024 from lung cancer. He worked at AAHL from 1984 until […]

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the tragic passing of a dear friend and colleague, Mina […]

After 30+ years at CSIRO, Senior Experimental Scientist, Agriculture and Food's Lisa Molvig is moving on to the next chapter […]

Introduction by Toni Moate (Director, National Collections & Marine Infrastructure) I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the recent […]

Dr William (Bill) Thomas Denholm, who died in late May aged 98, had a long and distinguished career as a […]

Denis Watson was a Program Manager, Site OIC and Head of Laboratory in CSIRO Division of Animal Health at Armidale […]

The US podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class has done an episode on the inspirational Ruby Payne-Scott, who worked […]

Volunteers play an important role in all aspects of society, from supporting junior sport to caring for animals and organising […]

The challenge Defending our produce against the fruit fly A staggering 30 per cent of global crop production is lost […]

CSIRO’s Central Australian Laboratory and its earlier incarnations in Alice Springs supported arid zone research for over 64 years until […]

The authors of a new research article published in Australian Journal of Chemistry have shone a light on what working life was […]

Ferntree Gully Mail, Other, 12/02/2023 Robert Taylor, an Emerald stalwart and community man, has passed away. Rob regularly walked around […]

Cosmos Magazine, Other, 25/01/2023, Evrim Yazgin Hannaford has been a leading figure in Australian optics and atomic physics for 60 […]

Canberra Times, Other, 26/01/2023, Michelle Slater An agricultural scientist who unearthed the capacity for nitrogen-based fertilisers to increase the nation's […]

ROBERT ALEXANDER BUCHANAN AM, B Sci. M Sci. PhD. FAATSE. FAIFST April 12, 1934-October 25, 2022 Professor Robert Buchanan (Alex) was […]

Ian’s 35-year career in CSIRO was only broken by his two significant years’ service in the Army, which was a […]

Australian Deserts: Ecology and Landscapes by Steve Morton, produced by CSIRO Publishing, wins Whitley Medal for 2022 My book, Australian Deserts: […]

Sydney Morning Herald, Other, 30/10/2022, Charles Massy DR ALEC BAILLE COSTIN AM September 30, 1925-August 22, 2022 Living at a […]

By Dr Cameron Grant (Adelaide University) Vale Dr AV (Bill) Blackmore 1928 – 2022 Bill was a disciplined empirical scientist […]

We recently caught up with Nancy Schellhorn, CSIRO Alumni and CEO and co-founder of RapidAIM. RapidAIM fast facts Spun out […]

Cheryl was a much-respected colleague and friend of many years for those of us who worked in the minerals and […]

Mick Poole passed away peacefully on Sunday 4 September 2022 aged 79 after a 5-month battle with painful cancer. Mick’s […]

The Mercury, Other, 21/08/2022, Rob Inglis As Australia's Antarctic program prepares to mark a significant milestone, three former expeditioners have […]

Bill Blevin passed away last week at the age of 92. Bill was Chief of the Division of Applied Physics […]

Des’s first encounter with CSIRO in the Northern Territory was as a young jackeroo on Elkedra Station in 1954.  CSIRO […]

As a respected scientist specialising in condensed matter physics, Dr Collocott is being recognised for his contribution to Standards Australia […]

Australia was fortunate to obtain the services of one of the world's leading fly experts from January 1947. If you […]

James Sydney Bates, worked at CSIRO for about 30 years until he retired 16 years ago. He passed away on […]

Professor Bernard “Bernie” Michael Bindon (1940-2022) By Professor Heather Burrow, Bernie’s successor at the Beef CRC Friends and colleagues of […]

Credit: AMANDA LOVELL, Tasmanian Business Reporter   One woman's passion, personality and drive has helped launch more than 100 Tassie […]

Left us in his sleep on 25 March 2022 Dr Trevor William Scott was the Chief of the Commonwealth Scientific […]

Canberra Times, Other, 21/03/2022, Michael Hutchinson Henry Nix was an environmentalist with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Australian landscape and […]

If you’ve logged on to one of the six million medical consultations that have been delivered using the Coviu platform […]

Born in Brisbane, John Ronalds completed his undergraduate degree part time while working for the CSIRO Veterinary Parasitology Laboratory. He […]

Dr Carina Joe spent seven years at CSIRO Manufacturing, first as an intern and then as a PhD student through […]

The Age, Other, 12/12/2021, Tom Spurling, Russell Tytler, Tony Lenten and John Symington On August 23, 2021, as many members […]

One of our well-known alumni members, Geoff Garrett is keen to share the updated version of his book, “Herding Cats […]

Paul Sims is one of our CSIRO Alumni members and is keen to share an update on the success of […], Other, 25/09/2021, Peter Fama and Andrew Duncan "They should never have let a woman do it" was a recurrent […]

Max Churchward passed away on 27 August 2021 after a short stay in hospital. He will be sadly missed by […]

What a career! Vietnam, virology veterinary and a vaccine Toby joined the Australian Army Reserve at the age of 19, receiving the […]

The 2021 Marshall Medal awarded to a CSIRO Alumnus On January 6, Emeritus Professor Graeme Martin was presented with the […]

Dr Neil C. Turner was made a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours […]

We remember our former colleague, Paul Whitfeld. Former CSIRO scientist, Paul Whitfeld, who had a distinguished career with CSIRO as […]

Read the lovely tributes written by Tom Beer, Joe Flood, John Davy, Ian Dunn and John Roy who share their […]

By Joe Flood Barrie was born in Birmingham in 1937. He arrived in Building Research with the Forest Products group […]

By Lindsay Sparrow The CSIRO Division of Protein Chemistry (now part of the Manufacturing Business Unit) mourn the passing of […]

Jennifer died in Melbourne on Friday 26 February 2021. She was known widely across numerous CSIRO Victorian Divisions in which […]

Dr Doug Graham, a graduate from the Universities of Durham and Cambridge, came to Australia from the UK in September […]

Michael, or Mike to everyone, was born in India, where his father was an officer serving in the British Army […]

Jim joined CSIRO Division of Fossil Fuels/Process Technology after working as a senior process engineer for Altona Petrochemical in 1972. […]

WEBB, Eric Kenneth 17.12.1921 - 30.9/2020 Eric was born in Camberwell to parents Eric Roger and Florence Isobel (nee Balderson). […]

Alan was the CSIRO Director of Institute of Animal Production and Processing from 1988 until his retirement in December 1994. He was an internationally recognized parasitologist with a special interest in the control of worm parasites in domestic livestock.

David was the CSIRO Foundation Chief of the Division of Applied Organic Chemistry (later the Division of Chemicals & Polymers) for 17 years.

Founder of the CSIRO’s Double Helix Science Club, Ross also established a national network of CSIRO Science Education Centres around Australia, along with many other educational projects.

Active in many professional scientific bodies, Wark was federal president (1958) of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and one of the first fellows (1954), and treasurer (1959-63), of the Australian Academy of Science.

In former years many of CSIRO's Division's employed photographers to record Divisional and regional activities. Due to their skill and dedication many of the wonderful archival photos that are added to publications, CSIRO activities and displays still survive. This article is about John Masterson, photographer for the CSIRO Radiophysics Laboratory.

The Archer meeting room at CSIRO Clayton is named in her honour and the room is located in the space that for many years previously housed the CSIRO division of Minerals, Clayton library.

In the late 1930s and with the possibility an upcoming world war looming the CSIR Division of Aeronautics was one of three new Divisions created by our organisation as the first extensions into the field of secondary industries.

Arthur first joined CSIRO in Brisbane with the Division of Soils in 1950 as a technical assistant and completed a science degree, again while working. He then obtained first class honours and an MSc. He was awarded a CSIRO Overseas Studentship to study for a D Phil. at Oxford in the laboratory of RK Schofield. The subject of his D Phil was phosphate sorption on soil materials.

Courtesy of the West Australian newspaper While the WA mining industry was reinvigorated in the 1960s, expert minds were assessing […]

My supervisor in Cambridge , a distinguished electrochemist, directed me towards CSIRO because, in his opinion, it had one the […]

CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, has appointed Professor Bronwyn Fox as Chief Scientist, close to 30 years after she began her career with CSIRO as a research assistant.

Dr Gray's work focused on mineral exploration in Australia, and he was one of the international leaders in exploration hydrogeochemistry, the use of the chemical composition of groundwater to detect buried minerals and build understanding of the continent’s landscape.

Dr Manchester, an Honorary Fellow with CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, is a world-leading authority on pulsars: small spinning neutron stars that send out regular pulses of radio emission, left behind after a normal star has died in an explosion.

Kate Taylor is now Director, Research Strategy, at the University of Melbourne.

Bill joined the virology section of the CSIRO Division of Animal Health based in Parkville, Melbourne in 1959, and over 30 years, became not only an expert in exotic diseases of livestock, but also in the infrastructure and microbiological requirements for building a maximum-security laboratory allowing research into the most dangerous infectious agents in the world.

Sebastien Ourselin is now Head of the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences, King’s College London.

Cedric was a post-doctoral fellow at the ICT Centre in QCAT. During his time with CSIRO he built up his network and gained expertise and has now created the DREAM lab within GeorgiaTech Lorraine, the French campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology

Piers Barnes worked as a postdoctoral fellow in a group started by Ian Plumb which started him on the path to researching photovoltaic materials.

Peter Robertson has recently published a biography of the Australian astronomer John Bolton who spent most of his career in CSIRO's Division of Radiophysics and who was an early pioneer of radio astronomy.

After leaving CSIRO, Michelle kept in touch with her former team and volunteers as a mentor within the ON program.

Silvia was a Postdoc based at CSIRO as part of a collaborative scheme with Monash University.

Des Nelson's story begins with his initial meeting with CSIRO in 1951 and goes on to tell tales of his adventures and experiences working with the Division of Entomology in 1955.

While at the CSIRO, Peter really enjoyed his involvement in the Student Research Scheme (SRS) where he hosted high school students in his laboratory for a week at a time.

Read Helen's story from when she started as a typist in 1959 and worked at the CSIRO Division of Forest Products and continued her career through CSIRO.

Read about David’s career and travels after he left CSIRO

Betty Siegman, a former CSIRO employee, recently wrote to the Sphere editorial team. Together with her family, Betty has clocked up over 106 years with CSIRO, forming a large part of her life, and that of her family.

A wonderful compilation of personal stories from members of the WA Chapter of CSIRO Alumni and other former CSIRO staff. Read about the human side of science and the daily and year-by-year experiences of working in the Western Australian arm of CSIRO during its earliest and then its rapid growth phases.

Memoirs, stories, articles and images of Dr Max Day AO FAA compiled to celebrate Max’s 100th birthday, 21 December 2015

Dr David Goodall was Australia’s oldest working scientist, commuting daily to his office at Edith Cowan University until the age of 103.

Denis Fletcher Kelsall (1918-1982), chemical engineer, was born on 10 February 1918 at Broadbottom, Cheshire, England, son of William Fletcher […]

Alan Reid was Director of the CSIRO Institute of Minerals, Energy and Construction from 1988 to 1997. He was formerly […]