Prof. Walter Heywood Bryan (Class of 1908)
Professor Bryan was a geologist, educator and decorated military veteran. He was one of the first Bachelor of Science graduates from the University of Queensland, majoring in geology and then went on to become the first graduate from their Honours program in 1914.
His passion in seismology accelerated cyclone forecasting and warning in the decades before satellites would transform weather forecasting and he was instrumental in the establishment of the seismological station at the University of Queensland.
WH Bryan was employed by the Geological Survey of Queensland before he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in 1915 where he served at Gallipoli, in Egypt and then on the Western Front from 1916-1918, where he was awarded the Military Cross for gallant conduct and bravery.
In 1926, WH Bryan was the first student at the University of Queensland to receive a D.Sc. His D.Sc. Thesis was on earth movements in Queensland and following the 1935 earthquake in Gayndah, Queensland, he led the establishment of the seismological station at the University of Queensland.
His passion in seismology accelerated cyclone forecasting and warning in the decades before satellites would transform weather forecasting. WH Bryan and his colleague, Owen A. Jones lobbied for additional stations based in north Queensland to assist with accurate weather forecasting of cyclone events, earthquakes and sea disturbances.
WH Bryan published over 70 papers during his career and undertook much pioneering work on a diverse range of topics including volcanism, earthquakes, stratigraphy, marine geology and landscape evolution. Igneous petrology was probably the most persistent areas of research during his academic career. He drove much of the seismological research and monitoring in Queensland and The University of Queensland Seismology Station that he started and named in his honour continues today at Mount Nebo in south-east Queensland. WH Bryan was one of the principal drivers in understanding the regional geological history and stratigraphy of Queensland.
In 1991, the University of Queensland established the WH Bryan Mining and Geology Research Centre, named in his honour. #igsoldboys