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Norton Jackson AM

by Rachel Broadley

Dr Norton Jackson AM with Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj.(L-R) Dr Norton Jackson AM with Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj.

Lifelong supporter and good friend of UniSA Dr Norton Jackson AM died earlier this month, aged 93.

A Fellow of the university and a long-time supporter of its work, Dr Jackson enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the minerals and resources industry.

A graduate of UniSA’s antecedent institution the School of Mines and Industries and the University of Adelaide, Dr Jackson held Diplomas in Applied Science and Mining and a Bachelor of Engineering in Metallurgy. He was the Klug Medallist in his final year of undergraduate engineering studies, and was awarded a Master of Engineering by the University of Melbourne in 1964.

His career as one of Australia’s most important and influential figures in the mining industry saw him travel the globe.

Dr Jackson (pictured above right with Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Høj) helped to secure South Australia’s success in mining as the Chief Metallurgist of the State after World War II and had astonishing adventures as a top director of one of the world’s largest chemical companies.

Dr Jackson was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 1981, a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to the mining industry in 1987 and was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001.

The Royal Australian Chemical Institute awarded Dr Jackson the prestigious RK Murphy Medal in 2010 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to industrial chemistry, mining and metallurgy in Australia, and for inspirational mentorship bestowed upon young chemists and chemical engineers.

UniSA’s Chancellor, Dr Ian Gould, said he was deeply saddened by the news of Dr Jackson’s death on May 2.

“Norton Jackson contributed enormously to the university over the course of a long and extremely productive life, as well as to the entire country,” Dr Gould said.

“Perhaps his greatest successes took place following his ‘retirement’. For 30 years, from the age of 63 to 93, through his many board memberships and directorships, Norton helped to direct the growth and prosperity of more than a dozen mining, fertilizer and chemical companies, including Normandy Mining.

“His mind remained incredibly sharp and his fascination for innovation in technology only grew with age.

“I have never met any individual who had worked so tirelessly to make connections that would benefit the university.

“He was an indefatigable supporter of the University of South Australia and we were honoured by his association and very fortunate indeed to have known the benefit of his expertise.

“On behalf of the university, I extend my condolences to Dr Jackson’s family.”

Dr Jackson served on UniSA’s Council from 1995 to 1998, and was a Member of the Development Board for several years.

For his services to the mining industry, to South Australia and to the university, he was made a Fellow of UniSA in 1999 and awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2006.

His association with the university will continue in the form of the Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal, established in 2011.

Reflecting Norton's passion and achievements, the medal recognises the achievements of graduates of the Ian Wark Research Institute (The Wark), and is awarded annually to the PhD graduate or graduand who has demonstrated the most potential or real application of research in industry.

For more information about the Norton Jackson Material Science and Engineering Medal, click here.