Vale: Maureen Mackay and Fred Smith

Mackay-and-Smith-webLa Trobe has lost two of its esteemed colleagues with the recent passing of Emeritus Scholar Maureen Mackay and Emeritus Professor Fred Smith.

Emeritus Scholar Maureen Mackay

Emeritus Scholar Maureen Mackay (pictured left) passed away on Sunday 2 March 2014.

Maureen was the first woman to be appointed in the School of Physical Sciences (Chemistry) at La Trobe.

Maureen’s research expertise was in the application of X-ray crystallography to study the molecular structure of biologically active compounds. A particular focus was the identification of the conformational structure and active sites of natural products with anti-tumour properties so that more active and useful therapeutic compounds could be developed.

All this was done at a time without the advanced computers and access to high-energy x-ray sources that modern x-ray crystallographers take for granted.

She also worked with fellow scientist Dorothy Mary Hodgkin – the 1964 Nobel Prize winner in chemistry.

Emeritus Professor Fred Smith

Fred (pictured right) passed away on Saturday 1 March 2014.

He joined La Trobe University as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) in March 1991. His appointment was extended to include Chief Executive Officer, La Trobe University Research and Development Park.

He retired in 2004 and was awarded the status of Emeritus Professor.

Previous to his appointment at La Trobe, Fred was Professor of Physics and Head of the Department at Monash University.

Over his career he played an active role in the scientific community. He was selected as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2005 and as a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Australian Institute of Physics and the Institute of Physics (London).

Both Fred and Maureen made a significant contribution to the scientific and La Trobe communities. They will be dearly missed.

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