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Leonard F Lindoy

Honorary Doctor of Science

Citation delivered by Professor John Patterson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Operations) of the University of Wollongong on the occasion of the admission of Leonard F Lindoy to the degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) on 16 December 2005.


Vice-Chancellor, I present Leonard Lindoy.

Professor Lindoy is a scientist of international standing in the field of inorganic chemistry. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and a Senior Member of a Cambridge College. For all his high status and achievement, however, he has never forgotten his childhood in Wollongong during the Second World War nor has faltered in his support for the research and teaching of chemistry at this University.

Leonard Lindoy began his long career in a characteristic, hands-on way, working for Wattyl, then a small coatings manufacturer. He studied part-time for his Science degree at the University of New South Wales and, simultaneously, enrolled at “night-school” at Sydney Teachers College. This effort gave early indication of his capacity for learning and hard work.

After three years as a teacher in State High Schools, Len completed his PhD at the University of New South Wales, followed by doctoral study at Ohio State University. Returning to Australia, he was appointed as a lecturer at James Cook University and, in 17 years, his reputation had earned him appointment to the University’s first Personal Chair. In 1996, he took up the Chair in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Sydney and became Foundation Director of the Centre for Heavy Metals Research. After his recent ‘formal’ retirement, Len was appointed to special positions at both of his Australian universities - as Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at James Cook and an Emeritus Professorial role in research at Sydney. These appointments illustrate the high respect in which he is held as scientist, colleague and mentor.

Professor Lindoy has made an exceptional contribution, particularly in the area of Supramolecular and Coordination Chemistry which has fundamental importance for both the pure research into biological systems and the applied area of industrial processes. Leonard’s research interests have taken him across the world, notably to Switzerland, the US and Cambridge, and has published over 200 refereed articles in international journals. He has been awarded the prestigious Olle, Burrows and Smith prizes of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and the gold medal for excellence in research from the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering. After a long and active contribution as a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Professor Lindoy was awarded a Distinguished Fellowship this year for his outstanding contribution to Chemistry.

The list of Leonard Lindoy’s attainments is lengthy and impressive and the University of Wollongong is proud to have a place on it and not only as his place of birth. Len met and admired the work of the late Professor Bert Halpern, the foundation Professor of Chemistry at Wollongong, and holds himself privileged to have delivered one of the annual Halpern lectures. To the University’s great benefit, Leonard Lindoy has always nurtured the strong collegial relationships he has enjoyed over the years. He has generously acted as an advocate and champion for the Faculty of Science and the University itself. He has served as a member of the Faculty Advisory Board since 2000 and played an active role in planning the Faculty’s direction. He has been a guest speaker at conferences organised by the Department of Chemistry and has informally mentored younger staff members of the Department.

Professor Leonard Lindoy is a national and international scholar who has made a lasting contribution to his field and to many of Australia’s and the world’s universities and institutes. His genuine love of science and his delight in learning and discovery have inspired his colleagues and his students and offer a great example to his fellow graduates today.

Vice-Chancellor, it is my great privilege and pleasure to present Leonard Lindoy for the award of Doctor of Science honoris causa.

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