Professor Donald Richard Stranks was born on 18 July 1929 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia where he also received his education, completing his PhD from the University of Melbourne 1954.
As a scientist, Professor Stranks was a leading member of the Australian and international inorganic chemistry community. In 1955, he was awarded the Rennie Memorial Medal of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute for his research in radioisotope and radiation chemistry. In recognition of his substantial contributions to inorganic chemistry, Stranks was the recipient of the Burrows award for Inorganic Chemistry in 1977.
From 1964 - 1972, Stranks was Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Adelaide and then served as Vice-Chancellor from 1977 to 1986. In his role as Vice-Chancellor, Stranks was also dedicated to raising funds for Community Aid Abroad, significant in establishing the University of Adelaide Foundation and revolutionising the academic administration of the University during a period of funding constraints.
In 1984, Stranks was Chair of the Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee. The same year also saw him receive Officer of the Order of Australia for his scientific, academic and other wide - ranging contributions to the academy.
Professor Donald Richard Stranks died on 9 August 1986, aged 57 just as he was to embark on a third term of vice-chancellorship. To commemorate his contribution in inorganic chemistry in Australia, and his nurture and encouragement of students, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute set up the Don Stranks Award a for outstanding performance in research in inorganic chemistry for PhD candidates.Biographical SourceUAA Provenance Record UAR-0271
Lincoln, S 1988, Aust. J. Chem., “A Tribute to Professor Donald Richard Stranks, A.O.”, vol 41, pp1261-2, viewed 03/03/2020 <https://www.publish.csiro.au/CH/pdf/CH9881261>
“The Don Stranks Award” https://www.raci.org.au/document/item/2625
Universityof Adelaide 1986, Adelaide University Football Club Annual Report - “Eulogy – Professor Don Stranks”, viewed 15/3/2020