Hari Narayan Sinha (1929-2023)

By Colin WardMarch 28th, 2011


Dr Hari Sinha was born in Roorkee, India in 1929 and completed his primary and secondary education there. He graduated in Metallurgical Engineering from the Banaras Hindu University in 1950 and was a lecturer at the above university from 1950 to 1953.

In 1953, he came to Melbourne University as a Colombo Plan Fellow to do his PhD which he completed in 1956. He then returned to Banaras Hindu University as a Reader. In 1958, he joined the Indian Institute of Technology at Bombay to establish the Department of Metallurgical Engineering.

He returned to Melbourne University in 1961 as a postdoctoral Research Fellow of the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering and from 1964 to 1967 he was Senior Research Scientist with the CSIRO Division of Mineral Chemistry. During this period he developed the Murso Process for producing synthetic rutile from ilmenite.

From 1968 to 1977, Dr Sinha was Research Manager of Murphyores Inc Pty Ltd and a consultant to Mitsubishi Chemical Industries of Japan which built a pilot plant in Japan to test the Murso Process.

He rejoined CSIRO in January 1978 as a Senior Principal Research Scientist where he was the leader of the team that developed the process for the production of high grade zirconia for engineering ceramics. This process was licensed to ICI Australia Ltd (ICIA) for commercialisation and resulted in ICIA building the world’s largest zirconia plant – with a capacity of 700 tonnes per annum – at Rockingham, WA.

He was promoted to Chief Research Scientist and Deputy Chief of the CSIRO Division of Mineral Chemistry/Mineral Products a position he held until his retirement in September 1993.

After his retirement he was appointed Professorial Associate (Honorary), in the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Melbourne.

Honours and awards

For his contributions to science and industry he has received several honours and awards as follows:


Life member of the Indian Institute of Metals
Fellow of the Institution of Metallurgists (UK)
Fellow of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
1986 Fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)


2001 Federation Centenary Medal
1990 Member of the Order of Australia
1987 Sir Ian McLennan Achievement for Industry Award
1987 Ceramic Achievement Award of Australian Ceramic Society
1983 RACI Award for best paper on Process Chemistry presented at Chemeca
1973 Distinguished Alumnus Award, Banaras University


1997 – 99 Member of the Council of ATSE
1993 – 99 Chairman of the Victorian Division of ATSE and also a member of its International Relations Committee
1983 – 88 Member of the Executive Committee of ICSOBA (International Committee for Studies of Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminium)


  • Sinha HN, 2009, Personal communication.
Find out more
  • Alumina to Zirconia: the history of the CSIRO Division of Mineral Chemistry, 2001 (Publication – General)
  • Pure zircon process provides a solution for mineral sands processors (Solution)