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The Faculty takes shape

An initial group of four

In April 1960, the Interim Council established a modest blueprint for the staff of the Faculty of Engineering. There would be one Senior Lecturer, one Lecturer, one Laboratory Manager and two Technicians. Heading up this small, core group of academic staff would be the Foundation Professor of Engineering, Ken Hunt, who had been appointed just one month before. The Interim Council had hoped that the lectureship and senior lectureship would be filled by the end of 1960. It was Hunt who, after his arrival in June 1960, was entrusted with making these plans become a reality.

The lectureships were advertised and by August 1960 a total of 43 applications for the Engineering positions – 29 from within Australia and 14 from overseas – had been received. Sorting through these applicants was one of Hunt’s first major tasks.

john crisp acceptance telegram
John Crisp sent this international telegram to officially accept the senior lectureship he was offered in 1960.

Momentum gathered quickly and within a month major decisions were made. On 1 September 1960 the first of a series of offer letters was sent out. It went to Charles Sinclair in New South Wales. Sinclair was a Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Sydney and he was the first to be offered a Senior Lectureship in Engineering at the new Monash University. Sinclair accepted and was scheduled to arrive at Monash in early 1961.

The next to be sent a letter of offer was John Crisp, an Australian born Research Associate Professor of Applied Mechanics working in the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, USA. Like Sinclair, he too accepted the position and began organising his relocation to Australia. Another letter was sent to John (Jack) Phillips from Aeronautical Research Laboratories, and then another to Noel Murray, also Australian born, working in industry in the United Kingdom.  All of the letters offered the appointee an initial contract of three years, to be followed with a tenured position should all be considered satisfactory.

The Interim Council’s staffing hopes for the Faculty of Engineering were soon met, and then exceeded. Instead of two of the lectureships being filled by December 1960, four appointments had been made by the time the year drew to a close. Hunt was joined by four Senior Lecturers: Sinclair, Crisp, Phillips and Murray. Phillips was due to arrive in January 1961, Sinclair in February, and Crisp and Murray in March. There was also an Engineering Secretary, Mrs Auldrige, and a Laboratory Manager, WA Churchill.

These bios appeared in the Interim Council Minutes after John Crisp, Noel Murray and Jack Phillips had all accepted Senior Lectureships in the Faculty of Engineering.