RSC New Building Social Highlights

Friday 19 September 2014

In the intervening period of moving into the new building to now, we have had a variety of social functions, including Chrismas, Easter, the weekly Bramleys, Chemistry Ball, Mole Day BBQ, the arrival of a new Director, and of course, the old Building Farewell. On a sadder note we have also said farewell to some of our staff, who collectively, have worked at the RSC for over 300 years! See below for a selection of Social Highlights taken from the RSC News.

On Friday 15th of November, around 300 people attended a farewell to the former ANU Chemistry Buildings. The festivities were held in the foyer and concourse of the Birch building. Many ANU Chemistry staff and student alumni came from far and wide to join locals in celebrating their times in the Chemistry buildings. It was a very joyous affair, with much bonhomie and reminiscing.

Emeritus Professors Martin Bennett, Jack Elix and David Craig, who were all around at the founding of the Research School of Chemistry in 1967, gave excellent speeches which were a mixture of history, humour, anecdotes and reflection on their times in the Chemistry buildings.

The foyer was decorated with many photographs and memorabilia relating to ANU Chemistry. A major highlight was a cake in the shape of the Birch Building, which was consumed with great relish.
A photographic record of the day, courtesy of Prof. Elmars Krausz, can be found at:

A guest book was filled out on the day. For people who could not make it and would like to contribute, a message can be sent to for inclusion in the guest book.

Professor John Carver
Director RSC

Mole Day BBQ


RSC staff farewell

We are sad to say farewell to a group of highly valued and respected colleagues who have served the School and University with great distinction. But, we are also celebrating their many varied achievements and acknowledging their decisions to move onto the next phase of their lives.

The twelve people we are recognising and thanking represent a total of 331 years of service to the ANU; that is an amazing nearly 30 years each! It will be difficult, if not impossible, to replace the expertise, corporate knowledge and productivity of this group.

1. Paul Gugger (RSC since 1980)

2. Tony Herlt (RSC since 1971)

3. David King (RSC since 1983)

4. Ron Pace (Chemistry/RSC since 1982)

5. Bob Phillips ANU (Botany/Zoology) since 1996 - RSC since 2012

6. Lee Welling (RSC since 1971)

7. Viki Withers (RSC since 1997)

8. Ray Withers (RSC since 1986)

9. John White (RSC since 1985)

10. Mick Collins (RSC since 1978)

11. Hugh McGlinchey (RSC since 1992)

12. Stephen Jamieson (RSC since 2004)

We wish you all well in whatever you will be doing in the future. I am aware that you all have grand things planned for your ‘retirement’. I put this word in quotation marks as this word is a euphemism as you will be as active, if not more so, into the future, but probably with different priorities. We hope that you all retain your involvement with the RSC. You will always be very welcome to visit us and join in social functions.

Professor John Carver
Director RSC

Aidan Heerdegen has left the RSC to take up an appointment in the Research School of Earth Sciences. Aidan has had a long association with ANU and RSC in particular spanning a period of almost 25 years.  He was a Vacation Scholar in RSC in 1990/1991 and subsequently came back as a doctoral student in 1993. After an interruption of his studies to work on an ARC project in the department of Geography at ANU he completed his PhD in RSC in 2000. He then spent a couple of years in the commercial world working for the ‘Prometheus Information’ Data Team. He finally returned to RSC in 2002 to take up an appointment as Research Officer in the Disordered Materials Group and has held this position until July 2014. During this period Aidan’s contribution has been enormous providing support to students, post-docs, visiting scientists and a network of overseas collaborators, on the intricacies of X-ray diffraction, crystal growth and characterization but in particular on the many computational aspects the work of the group. I am greatly endebted to Aidan for the many contributions he has made – he will be sorely missed. I wish him well in his future endeavours.

-Professor Richard Welberry

Dr Amy Philbrook (Easton Group), left the RSC after 12 years on 20 September 2013 to take up a position with the Department Resources, Energy and Tourism. We wish her all the very best for the future.

Ching-Yeh Lin will be leaving the Coote Group at the end of this month, Leaf joined the RSC in 2004 as a PhD student with Peter Gill. On completion of her PhD in 2006 she joined the Coote group, first as a postdoc and then as a research officer. During her time here she enjoyed moving offices, occupying at some point no less than five different offices on the first floor of the Craig building and one in the new RSC building, which must put her in the running for the award "Most Relocated". During her 9 years in the RSC she gained one PhD, one husband and two little boys. She also developed a strong interest in computers and recently took up an academic consultant job at the NCI across campus. We wish her all the best for the future.

Kevin Cooper, our Facilities Manager, has decided to pursue new opportunities in his career. Kevin is a very popular member of the School as was evidenced by the attendance at his farewell, and will be sorely missed. He has been a stalwart in the School for over 11 years, and at the University for ten years before this. He has contributed a huge amount to the School and University over this period. His pragmatic, no-nonsense and efficient manner of getting things done has been a hallmark of his work. He has been the “go-to-man” for all school-related matters and has had a major role in facilitating our move from the old buildings and configuring the School in the new building. Prior to this, his input was vital to the School’s quick recovery after the fires and storm that caused significant damage and disruption. In 2007, Kevin received the VC’s Award for his efforts in facilitating the School’s recovery after one of the fires. Last year, Kevin was a very worthy recipient of Director’s Prize for Professional Staff. Kevin’s last day in the School was Friday 27th of June. We wish Kevin all the best in his new venture.

Updated:  21 October 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director, RSC/Page Contact:  Web Admin, RSC