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Ernest (Ernie) Oliver Tuck, (1939-2009)
Papers 1957-2007

MSS 0128


Biographical Note

Ernie Tuck was born in Adelaide, South Australia on 1 June 1939. An undergraduate student at the University of Adelaide between 1956 and 1959, Ernie received his First Class Honours Degree in Mathematics in 1960 under the supervision of Professor Ren Potts. Influenced by Ren's interests in Operations Research and Statistics, Ernie commenced postgraduate studies, funded by a Legacy Scholarship, at the University of Cambridge in 1960. At Cambridge, Ernie's PhD supervisor, Professor Fritz Ursell, a major figure in British Applied Mathematics, encouraged him to focus his research on one of the first applications of slender-body theory to ships. Ernie's approach was revolutionary, based on the method of matched asymptotic expansions, and applied to the prediction of wave resistance of a ship moving in steady motion on the free surface.

After Cambridge, Ernie applied his knowledge of ship hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, hydraulics, bio-fluid dynamics and games theory to a number of roles in organisations such as: the Shell Oil Company, U.S. and Australian Navy Departments and the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation. He developed great expertise as a modeller and published more than 170 articles, the vast majority appearing in the top fluid mechanics journals.

His research, characterised by the recognition of new or unsolved problems, the application of novel mathematical methods and careful numerical analysis, was often rewarded. In 1988 he was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and in 1990 received the award of the George Weinblum Lectureship. In 1995 he was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and in 1999 received the Australian Academy of Science's Thomas Ranken Lyle Medal. In the same year he was also awarded the ANZIAM Medal by the Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics Society, a division of the Australian Mathematical Society.

At the University of Adelaide Ernie held positions as the Chair of Applied Mathematics, the Elder Professor of Applied Mathematics and the Dean of the Faculty of Mathematical and Computer Sciences. On his retirement from the University, he was awarded the title of Professor Emeritus. Throughout his career Ernie successfully supervised twenty five PhD and four research Masters students, many of whom have established themselves in the academic and research community.

On 11 March 2009, just short of his seventieth birthday, Ernie Tuck died from prostate cancer. He is survived by his wife Helen, whom he met at a Legacy gathering for children of military veterans, and their two children, Warren and Geoff.

Contents Listing

Series 1: University of Adelaide     30 cm.

  • Undergraduate student notebooks (lecture notes, exercises etc) 1957-60 30 cm.
  • 22 notebooks
  • Mainly mathematics Years I-II and Honours, but also includes Scientific German and Physics II and III

Series 2: Trinity College, Cambridge     20 cm.

  • Copy of PhD "The steady motion of a slender ship' (typescript, 1963)
  • Student lecture notebooks in applied mathematics. atomic physics, relativity (Prof Hoyle) etc. 8 notebooks

Series 3: Correspondence     2m.

  • Correspondence with and about other colleagues and mathematicians ca 1962-2006
  • Files arranged alphabetically, plus folder of correspondence with Dept of Defence 1980s-1999. Also archive box miscellaneous correspondence and clippings etc ca 1968-1999

Series 4: Research projects     1.3m.

  • Including Defence projects. Files include reprints by Tuck and others, working calculations, correspondence, supporting material etc.
  • SHELL ‘Rip' Project 1965
  • Longitudinal cut (wave resistance) 1987-2003
  • Submarine internal waves - report 1992 (for DSTO). Also folder background information re potential work on Collins-class submarine work in SA 2000-2001, and Review and revival report 2003
  • SMP software development 1992-93
  • America's Cup consultancy/Fluid Thinking 1993-94
  • Ship squat/grounding of the QE2 1995 (includes maps, US and British official reports into the grounding of the QE2)
  • Explosive growth equation/very viscose liquids/ ca1995-2005
  • Moonpool (oil well-bay) research 2000
  • ARC 2000-2004: Flow about high-speed ships and planing craft ...
  • ARC 2003-2004: Optimal nose shaping for delayed boundary-layer separation and transition in axisymmetric flow
  • Low-aspect-ration flat ship planing hulls/Froude number (EM Casling) 2003
  • Extrusion/boundary value problem 2005
  • Project proposal: Extrusion of soft-glass preforms used for making complex optical fibres (in collaboration with DSTO and U of Southampton (2004?)
  • Sea Wave Pattern Evaluation (SWPE computer program) 1999-2003
  • ‘Defence matters' (1 archive box): includes contracts, correspondence, reprints etc
    See also Series 5: Publications

 Series 5: Publications etc by EO Tuck     80cm.

  • Collected reprints 1961-2007, organised chronologically
  • Reprints, papers etc on naval hydrodynamics
  • Reprints, talks, reports etc on games and gambling, including backgammon
  • Miscellaneous original reports etc
  • Miscellaneous unpublished articles, reports etc with associated notes
  • Selected publications, drafts etc with associated correspondence, working calculations etc

Series 6: University of Adelaide. Dept of Applied Mathematics 1968-     1m.

  • Departmental archives (incomplete) etc RESTRICT UNTIL CLEARED
  • General University correspondence; history of Applied Mathematics; departmental reviews, mergers; Public Examinations Board Subject Committee in Mathematics 1969; Faculty of Applied Mathematics; Departmental notices 1976-95; Departmental correspondence 1975-83; Student numbers 1970-1985; notes on teaching Years I-III; notes/statistics on Honours courses and students; PhD research students 1976-77, 1980-87; Departmental staff meetings, teaching programmes 1996-2002; staff matters, correspondence
  • Tuck's lecture notes, mainly for Honours course in Aerodynamics 2000-2003
  • RB Potts file: reprints, correspondence and papers re Pott's obituary, the Potts Prize and Seminar in Honour of Professor RB Potts November 1990; ‘Mathematics at the University of Adelaide / RB Potts (June 1976); Paper tape and punched cards: the early history of computing and computing science at the University of Adelaide / Barbara Kidman and Renfrey Potts (1999)
  • EOT (Tuck) personal administration files: departmental/personal correspondence, study leave reports etc; list of books in Tuck's library
  • Personal planning diaries

Series 7: Conferences     40 cm.

  • CD-ROMS: The Tuck Symposium (University of Adelaide January 2003); 14th AFMC Adelaide 2001; 19th International Workshop on Water Waves and Floating Bodies (Italy 2004); 24th Symposium on Naval Hydrodynamics (Japan 2002)
  • IUTAM (International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics)/ICTAM (International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics ca 2000-2006
  • Visit to CSSRC (China Ship Scientific Research Centre) 2007 concerning submarines etc [organised by IUTAM]. Includes Defence correspondence etc
  • ANZIAM Applied Mathematics Conferences 1997-2007/AMC (Applied Mathematics Conference). Also Australian Mathematical Society material

Series 8: Organisations     40 cm.

  • TetraTech Inc. (consultancy). Includes correspondence 1968-80, proposals and reports
  • Academies: Australian Academy of Science ca 1988-2008, Australian Academy of Technology Sciences and Engineering1995-1996; ANZIAM (file on Tuck winning Lyle Medal 1999)

Series 9: Photographs     10 cm.

  • Photograph album, largely unannotated but with approximate dates, of Tuck, departmental colleagues and associates 1963-2000?



Rare Books & Special Collections

The University of Adelaide
Rare Books & Special Collections
Level 1, Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005


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