Robin Batterham


Robin Batterham

Robin John Batterham AO (born 3 April 1941) is an Australian scientist specialising in chemical engineering. He was the Chief Scientist of Australia from 1999 to 2006.

Born in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton, Batterham graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1965 with a degree in chemical engineering. He received a scholarship from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to undertake postgraduate studies at the central research laboratories of ICI in the United Kingdom, and was granted a PhD in 1969. [ [http://www.unimelb.edu.au/unisec/calendar/honcausa/citation/batterham.html Dr Robin Batterham] , University of Melbourne.] Batterham returned to Australia in 1970, and took up the position of chief scientist of the CSIRO's Division of Mineral Engineering, and was later promoted to division chief. [ [http://www.asap.unimelb.edu.au/bsparcs/biogs/P004487b.htm Batterham, Robin John (1941 - )] , "Bright Sparcs" (University of Melbourne), 13 December 2006.]

In 1999, he was appointed Chief Scientist of Australia, a role which he undertook simultaneously to acting as chief technologist for the multinational mining company Rio Tinto. Supporters of renewable energy technologies claimed that Batterham's employment by a mining company made his advice to the Prime Minister on climate change and geosequestration questionable, although Batterham assured his critics that his advice and work as Chief Scientist was neutral and not affected by his Rio Tinto position. [Fowler, Andrew: [http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2003/s1006343.htm Questions raised over chief scientist's Rio Tinto role] , "The 7.30 Report" (ABC), 8 December 2003.] In 2004, concern was expressed over Dr. Batterham's dual roles, and a Senate committee found that there was a conflict of interest between the two, recommending that the Chief Scientist position be made full-time. [Guerrera, Orietta: [http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/08/05/1091557994478.html Chief scientist's dual roles 'damaging'] , "The Age", 6 August 2004.] In May 2005, Batterham stepped down as Chief Scientist and took on a full-time position at Rio Tinto. [Barlow, Karen: [http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2005/s1370112.htm Australia's Chief Scientist gives up Govt position for mining giant] , "AM" (ABC Radio), 17 May 2005.]

Since 1 January 2007, Dr. Batterham has served as President of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE). [ [http://www.atse.org.au/index.php?sectionid=866 Robin Batterham appointed ATSE President] , Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, 2007.]

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