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Robinson, Brian (1941 - 2004)

AM
 
Environmental scientist and Public servant
Born: 3 October 1941  Ballyward, Northern Ireland.  Died: 7 May 2004  Melbourne, Australia.
Brian Robinson was an organic chemist who worked for the Victorian Environmental Pollution Authority (EPA) since its inception in 1975. In 1986 he was promoted to chairman and initiated air monitoring studies around Melbourne and the Latrobe Valley. One of his biggest achievements was to put a stop to the dumping of industrial pollutants in Corio Bay. Robinson and the EPA were continually scrutinized, receiving both criticism and praise.

Career Highlights
Brian Robinson was born in Ireland and only came to Australia in 1965 after receiving a scholarship from the University of Melbourne. As soon as he completed his PhD, Robinson and his wife moved back to the United Kingdom. He worked at the University of Liverpool as a demonstrator in organic chemistry, then after 4 years took up a position with Du Pont at its Irish headquarters. This started his interest in developing better ways of managing industrial waste. He could see the existing methods were not working and that the problem of waste was only going to get bigger. Wanting to escape the political problems Ireland was facing, Robinson and his family returned to Australia in 1973. In 1975 the Victorian EPA was established and Robinson was one of the first recruited. His role was the laboratory services co-ordinator. The Victorian EPA was the first such body in Australia and struggled for funds for most of the first 15 years, making working there difficult. Robinson was appointed chairman in 1986 and oversaw many, some controversial, projects. During his reign the EPA approved a ban on dumping industrial waste in Corio Bay and the development of many freeways, including the Burnley Tunnel. The later being one of the most criticized projects, because the EPA put the construction company in charge of monitoring exhaust emissions. One of Robinsonís greatest regrets is said to be the failure of the EPA and associated industries to control and reduce diesel exhaust emissions.

Chronology
1965Scholarship from Melbounre University received and arrived in Australia
1965 - 1968Completed a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Melbourne
1968? - 1971?Senior Demonstrator in Organic Chemistry at the University of Liverpool. Location: England
1972?Joined Du Pont. Location: Ireland
1973Migrated to Australia
1975 - 1985Laboratory Service Co-ordinator at the Victorian EPA
1986 - 2002?Chairman of the Victorian EPA
2002Retireed

 

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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Annette Alafaci
Created: 9 September 2004
Modified: 29 January 2007

Published by The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre on ASAPWeb, 1994 - 2007
Originally published 1994-1999 by Australian Science Archives Project, 1999-2006 by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
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Updated: 26 February 2007
http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/biogs/P004565b.htm

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