Skip to main content

Manufacturing and Building Research Divisions

CSIRO’s research into manufacturing, materials and building research arose from five main sources of CSIR/CSIRO:

  • the Central Experimental Workshops
  • the Building Material Research Section
  • the Lubricants and Bearings Section
  • the Physical Metallurgy Section
  • the Chemical Physics Section of the Division of Industrial Chemistry

The CSIRO Central Experimental Workshops were established in 1949 and were replaced by the Engineering Section in 1955. After almost a decade of operations, the Section became the Division of Mechanical Engineering in 1963. Research on solar energy and thermal applications of solar energy including water heating was carried out in each of these laboratories from the 1950s onwards under the leadership of Roger Morse. When Morse retired as Chief in 1973 he became Director of the CSIRO Solar Energy Studies Unit established in 1 January 1974 to continue this research. The Unit closed with Morse’s retirement in 1978 the resources returning to the Division of Mechanical Engineering. In 1981, the Division of Mechanical Engineering was replaced by the Division of Energy Technology (mark I) which in 1988 merged with the Division of Building Research to form the Division of Building, Construction and Engineering.

The Building Material Research Section was established in 1945 and operated for five years, before becoming the Division of Building Research in 1950 whose purpose was to conduct research and development in many aspects of the building industry in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness. In 1988, following the McKinsey-assisted restructuring of CSIRO, the Division of Building Research merged with the Highett-based Division of Energy Technology (mark I) to form the Division of Building, Construction and Engineering. Its goal was to work towards improving and supporting industries related to the built environment.

The Lubricants and Bearings Section of CSIR was established in November 1939, and was replaced by the Tribophysics Section in 1946. Two years later it became the Division of Tribophysics. In 1978 the Division’s name was changed to the Division of Materials Science (1978-86). In 1980 part of the Division became the Division of Manufacturing Technology with the remaining parts of the Division of Materials Science continuing until the end of 1986.

The Physical Metallurgy Section was established within the University of Melbourne in 1946. It amalgamated with the Division of Tribophysics in 1970.

The Division of Chemical Physics was formed in 1958 from a section in the Division of Industrial Chemistry. It amalgamated with the Division of Materials Science on January 1, 1987, to form the Division of Materials Science and Technology and in 1997 the Division of Materials Science and Technology remerged with the Division of Manufacturing Technology, to form the Division of Manufacturing Science and Technology .

In July 2002 the Division of Building, Construction and Engineering merged with the Division of Manufacturing Science and Technology to form the Division of Manufacturing and Infrastructure Technology (CMIT).

In 2006 a major reorganisation focused CMIT on manufacturing and materials research with the division renamed the Division of Manufacturing and Materials Technology. The research effort on cities and water in CMIT was transferred to the Division of Sustainable Ecosystems (CSE) and the Division of Land and Water (CLW) respectively.

In 2007, the Division of Manufacturing and Materials Technology merged with the Division of Industrial Physics to form the Division of Materials Science and Engineering (CMSE) which subsequently absorbed the Division of Textile and Fibre Technology and the Division of Forestry Bioscience in 2008; and the Parkville and Clayton laboratories of the Division of Molecular and Health Technologies in 2010.

History of Manufacturing and Building Research Divisions

Manufacturing & Building Res Divisions

Chief of Division/Officer-in-Charge

Division Chief
Central Experimental Workshops (1949-55) Roger Neill Morse (1949-55)
Engineering Section (1956-63) Roger Neill Morse (1956-63)
Mechanical Engineering (1963-81) Roger Neill Morse (1963-73)
Barry Rawlings (1975-81)
Solar Energy Studies Unit (1974-78) Roger Neill Morse (Director 1974-78)
Energy Technology – mark I (1981-87) Donald Charles Gibson (1981-87)
Building Material Research Section (1945-50) Ian Langlands (1944-50)
Building Research (1950-87) Ian Langlands (1950-71)
Robert William Muncey (1971-79)
Frank Alexander Blakey (1979-87)
Building, Construction and Engineering (1988-2002) Donald Charles Gibson (1988-90)
Keith George Martin (1990-93)
Larry Richard Little (1993-2002)
Lubricants and Bearings Section (1939-46) Frank Phillip Bowden (1939-45)

Stewart Henry Bastow (1945-46)
Tribophysics Section (1946-48) Stewart Henry Bastow (1946-48)
Tribophysics (1948-78) Stewart Henry Bastow (1948-49)
Walter Moritz Boas (1949-69)
John Robert Anderson (1970-78)
Physical Metallurgy Section (1946-70) John Neill Greenwood (1946-56)
Hill Wesley Warner (1956-65)
Maxwell Edgar Hargreaves (1965-70)
Materials Science (1978-86) John Robert Anderson (1978-86)
Manufacturing Technology (1980-97) Robert Hallowes Brown (1980-1990)
Peter M Robinson (1991-1994)
Ian Sare (1995-97)
Chemical Physics (1958-86) Albert Lloyd George Rees (1958-78)
Alexander McLeod Mathieson (Acting 1978-80)
Lewis Taylor Chadderton (1980-86)
Materials Science and Technology (1987-97) Colin M Adam (1987-88)
Michael John Murray (1988-97)
Manufacturing Science and Technology (1997-2002) Ian Sare (1997-2002)
Manufacturing and Infrastructure Technology (2002-06) Larry Richard Little (2002-05)
Vicki Lyn Tutungi (2005-06)
Manufacturing and Materials Technology (2006-2007) Vicki Lyn Tutungi (2006-07)
Materials Science and Engineering (2007-14) Calum John Drummond, (2007-11)
Catherine Patricia Foley, (2011-14)

Sources

• Schedvin CB, Trace K, 1978, Historical Directory of CSIR and CSIRO 1926-1976, CSIRO Publishing.

Encyclopedia of Australian Science [external link]

• CSIRO Annual Reports