Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Vale Edward (Ted) Smith MRSN

Edward (ted) SmithThe Southern Highlands Branch has suffered a heavy loss with the unexpected passing in April 2023 of long-time Committee member Ted Smith (aged 86) who was an inspiration to all who knew him. He used his industrial chemistry background as a springboard in a series of outstanding careers throughout his long life. Problem solving was at the heart of his many achievements, and a talent that he demonstrated in his everyday life.

His major achievements sprang from his early interest in fibreglass-reinforced plastics, FRP. It was in California that he associated himself at an early stage with leading companies in composite materials for aircraft repair and maintenance.  He soon founded SAMPE, the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering in Australia.

Highlights of his business included being involved with FA18 Hornet fighters and supplying the materials used in the windows for the full quadrant of the front of the Collins Class submarines. He held contracts with RAAF, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Boeing, and Airbus, to name just a few. The Atlanta Olympics and America’s Cup projects also called on his expertise.

When Ted retired to the Southern Highlands at Robertson, he turned his attention to creating a new use for his beautiful property. He introduced the cultivation of French Perigord Truffles. So successful was this endeavour that he was soon holding the record for the largest French black Perigord truffle grown outside of Europe. Amazingly, it weighed 1.172kg, only 128gm short of the world record. This achievement was reported in newspapers worldwide.

Ted was one of the earliest members of the RSNSW Southern Highlands Branch. This must stand with his other great contributions to science and the community that meant so much to him. He is sadly missed.

Anne Wood FRSN
Chair, Southern Highlands Branch

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