Associate Professor Noel Davies retires after 37 years

Published 19 Dec 2016

In over four decades in his field Associate Professor Noel Davies has seen first-hand the many advances and achievements in analytical chemistry.

As Officer-in-Charge of the Organic Mass Spectrometry Facility at the University’s Central Science Laboratory (CSL) his work in analysing the chemistry of many samples has covered a broad range of disciplines including botany, horticulture, pharmacy, zoology, forensics, immunology, microbiology and aquaculture.

“The change in the instrumentation we now use compared to 40 years ago has been huge,” Assoc Prof Davies said.

“The range of compounds we can identify and/or measure and the accuracy of this has been revolutionary. We now have the ability to separate compounds which are virtually the same. It’s phenomenal.”

After 37 years Assoc Prof Davies is retiring from his position capping off a career which has spanned across a variety of university research projects, but also external clients including companies and government departments.

Assoc Prof Davies said one of the most significant programs undertaken has been the analysis of jack jumper ant venom, and the development at the Royal Hobart Hospital of an immunotherapy program for the treatment of ant venom allergies.

He joined the CSL in 1979 as a Research Fellow in Mass Spectrometry, and in 1984 was appointed Office-in-Charge of both the Organic Mass Spectrometry and Vibrational Spectroscopy facilities.

He was a Churchill Fellow in 1988, and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) in 1997.

In 2006 he received a national RACI citation award, and in 2012 received the RACI Analytical Division Medal for services to analytical chemistry.

In 2013 he received the Morrison Medal from the Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry (ANZSMS) for his contributions to mass spectrometry and its applications over the previous 38 years

“I’ve been fortunate enough to receive praise from my peers. Receiving the Morrison Medal was a great honour as most previous recipients were full Professors,” Assoc Prof Davies said.

“The RACI Medal was also an extreme honour to receive too.”

Assoc Prof Davies will be appointed as an Adjunct Professor in the CSL where he plans to further pursue his research interests.