Engineer ahead of his time
Desalination and alternative fuels are not new ideas - just ask the University of Adelaide's School of Chemical Engineering.
A former Head of Chemical Engineering, Professor Robert (Bob) Tait (1917-1997), was known for his research interest in water desalination, and served as a member of the former State Energy Commission to help look into alternative water resources and fuels.
The School recently named a seminar room in Professor Tait's honour - the Robert W. F. Tait Room - acknowledging his enormous contribution to research and education at the University.
Born in Scotland, Professor Tait was a graduate of Edinburgh and Birmingham universities. He became Professor and Head of Chemical Engineering at the University of Adelaide in 1963.
At the official opening of the Tait Room in the Engineering North Building, the current Head of School, Professor Keith King, said Bob was "instrumental in leading and nurturing the development and growth of chemical engineering at the University of Adelaide until his retirement on 31 December 1982". He was then accorded the title of Emeritus Professor.
Professor Tait, whose main research interest was in the heat transfer of boiling liquids - a relevant factor in the operation of nuclear power generators - remained in close contact with the School until his death in 1997.
His wife, Mrs Norma Tait, was among the guests who attended the opening of the Tait Room, and was presented with photos of Professor Tait taken during his years at the University.