Sir George Julius
Sir George Julius was a pivotal figure in the Industrialisation and scientific development of Australia. An original founder of the Institute of Engineers Australia and Chairman of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, he was present at the formation of Standards Australia in 1922. As a member of the Main Committee, he later became Chairman from 1926 until 1939. He was recognised with a knighthood in 1929.
As an engineering graduate of the University of Sydney, and a founder of Julius, Poole & Gibson; a firm of consulting engineers, Sir George Julius was a pivotal figure in the Industrialisation and scientific development of Australia.
Sir George initially sat on the Council of the Institute of Engineers Australia (IEAust) for twenty years, before becoming president in 1925. He played a role in the formation of Standards Australia (SA) in 1922 as part of their Main Committee, and later became the second Chairman from 1926 until 1939.
From 1928 Sir George was instrumental in the acknowledgment of the “acute importance of railways in Australian economic development” and was one of two pioneers for the representation of railway engineering for Australia and New Zealand on SA’s Main Committee.
This passion was developed earlier in his career, while working for the Government Railways. Sir George conducted a series of tests on timber and wrote two learned papers on Western Australian hardwoods. He became known to the wider public as the inventor of the totalisator and is best remember by historians for his contribution to the development of today's Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
After his 1926 appointment as CSIRO, Sir George lobbied for the development of primary production and solution to issues in areas such as food storage and food preservation. He went on to focus on secondary production, such as aeronautics and electronics, serving on the Central Inventions Board, the Australian Council for Aeronautics (as Chairman) and the Army Inventions Directorate during the Second World War.
Prime Minister the Hon Stanley Bruce MP was deeply impressed by Sir Julius and “his alert mind and ability”, a characteristic that struck the Prime Minister “most forcibly". After his significant contribution to Standards Australia as a Main Committee member and to Australian industry in general, Sir George was knighted in 1929. He remained active as a committee representative until his death on 28 June 1946.
“Our centenary year affords us the opportunity to reflect on the many people, past and present, who have helped shape our company. It could be said Standards Australia wouldn’t be the institution it is today without the input and expertise of Sir Julius. We owe him a great debt of gratitude,” said Adrian O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer at Standards Australia.