David Solomon (AC) began his career as a 16 year old at BALM Paints (now Dulux) where he developed a keen interest in the chemistry of polymers. He went on to complete his studies obtaining a BSc(Hons) in 1952, MSc in 1955, PhD in 1959 for his thesis entitled “Studies on the Chemistry of Carbonyl Compounds” and DSC in 1968 for his thesis “Studies on the Chemistry of Coating Compounds”. He also received an Honorary Doctorate in Applied Science from the University of Melbourne in 2005, one of only 7 awarded in the University’s history.
After several years of employment at BALM/Dulux, and the establishment of his first polymer research group, David moved to the Division of Applied Mineralogy at CSIRO in 1963 where he continued with studies on polymers. In 1970 he transferred to the Division of Applied Chemistry) and then in 1974 became the Foundation Chief of the new Division of Applied Organic Chemistry (now Material Science and Engineering). He built up the CSIRO Polymer Research Group where he led research projects including the discovery of Nitroxide Mediated Polymerization (NMP) and the development of the world’s first polymer banknotes, among other things.
In 1990 he accepted an invitation to move to The University of Melbourne as the ICI Australia – Masson Professor and Head of the School of Chemistry. He then transferred to the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 1995 where he established his third internationally regarded polymer group; the Polymer Science Group, to which he still acts as an advisor. In 2015 he was awarded the title Professor Emeritus at the University.
David has been the recipient of many distinguished awards, highlighting the international impact he has had in the field of polymer science. He has received 23 awards, and given over 20 invited lectures. A selection of awards is listed below:
Companion of the Order of Austral
Institution of Chemical Engineers.
MIChemE - Member of IChemE 2002 -