Obituary: Professor George Dracoulis 1944-2014

Written by PROFESSOR ANDREW STUCHBERY, Head of the ANU Department of Nuclear Physics.

Professor George Dracoulis who was a pillar of the University's Department of Nuclear Physics and a highly respected researcher internationally, passed away suddenly on 19 June.

Born in Melbourne, George graduated from the University of Melbourne with a PhD in nuclear physics in 1970.

After a postdoctoral position at the University of Manchester, UK, he joined ANU in 1973 as a Research Fellow in the Department of Nuclear Physics, where the world's largest tandem Van de Graaff heavy-ion accelerator was under construction.

George played an integral role in the accelerator's development and exploitation as a research facility.

He was appointed to a Chair in Physics in 1991 and became Head of the Department of Nuclear Physics in 1992, a position he held until he retired in 2009.

George made great contributions to the Department of Nuclear Physics and the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility it operates, establishing it as one of the most respected nuclear physics laboratories in the world.

Internationally renowned for the thoroughness of his experimental approach, combined with a deep physical understanding of nuclear phenomena, George was tireless in building up research equipment at ANU and exploiting it to perform world-class research.