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School of Chemistry (1886 - )

Go to Gallery Page School of Chemistry
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Function: Academic Department
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

The first lectures in chemistry in the University of Melbourne were presented in 1856 by the professor of Natural Science, Professor Frederick McCoy. The establishment of the Department of Chemistry as a recognized entity within the University coincided with the appointment of Professor David Orme Masson. In the 1960s the School of Chemistry was established with the formal recognition of the separate academic departments of Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry.

URL: The home page for this entity is located at http://www.chemistry.unimelb.edu.au/
Alternative Names:
  • Department of Chemistry (Parallel)
Additional Information:

In 2001, the School of Chemistry has collaborations with the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pathology, Dental Science and with medical research units including the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, The Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, as well as industry groups. Research groups and laboratories include the Atomic Force Microscopy Laboratory, Best Group, Bieske Laser Spectroscopy Group, Capon Group, Lambert Group, Nanoparticle Laboratory, Particulate Fluids Processing Centre, PhotoPhysics Group, Rizzacasa Group, Schiesser Group, Separovic Group, White Group, Young Group


A new building with labs, or at least part of a building is erected in the late 1880s soon after Professor Masson is appointed.


Chemistry building grant of 80,000

June 1936

Vice Chancellor Priestley leads a deputation to Premier Dunstan regarding the new Chemistry School and the restoration of a 20% cut in funding.

19 May 1938

Foundation stone of building to house the Chemistry department is laid. A Raymond Priestly initiative, and the first time the Government had spent a significant amount on the University for decades, most of the interior was designed by Professor Hartung.


New Chemistry Building is opened to students

1961 - 1963

Money is provided for a Chemistry-Geology link

5 May 1989

The Committee of Review of the School of Chemistry decides that a fourth chair of chemistry be created, titled the Masson Professor of Chemistry. This role would include Headship of the School for a period of 5 years upon arrival in the first instance.


The School is a core participant in Bio'21, a $400 million initiative of the Victorian Government, universities, hospitals, biomedical institutes and industry to establish Australia's largest interdisciplinary biotechnology precinct.

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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: Carolyn Rasmussen & Rachel Tropea
Created: 22 August 2001
Modified: 21 March 2002

Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, October 2001
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: http://www.esrc.unimelb.edu.au/about/inquiries.html#comment
Prepared by: Acknowledgements
Updated: 16 November 2009

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