Wilbur Norman Christiansen

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Christiansen at the International Union of Radio Science conference, Sydney 1952

Wilbur Norman "Chris" Christiansen (9 August 1913 in Melbourne, Victoria – 26 April 2007 in Dorrigo, New South Wales) was a pioneer Australian radio astronomer and electrical engineer.

He grew up in Elsternwick, Victoria. His father was the minister at the Elsternwick Congregational Church, and his mother a music teacher. He was colloquially known as "Chris". In 1931 he entered the University of Melbourne reading Science, and was associated as a non-resident student with Trinity College, where he won an Exhibition in 1932. He graduated BSc (1934) and MSc (1935), winning the Professor Kernot Research Scholarship in Natural Philosophy.[1] He later graduated DSc from the University of Melbourne (1959).

Christiansen built the first grating array for scanning the sun at the radio astronomy field station at Potts Hill, New South Wales. A later array at Badgerys Creek, New South Wales, the Chris Cross Telescope, was named after Christiansen. For many years, he was chairman of the electrical engineering department at the University of Sydney.

He died on 26 April 2007 in Dorrigo, New South Wales, near his son Tim and his brother Steven. His wife Elspeth died in 2001 and their son Peter, also a space physicist, died in 1992.

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  1. ^ "Final and Final Honour Examinations", The Fleur-de-Lys, Oct. 1935, p. 12.

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