Dr. John R.(robert) Philip

Ella Saddler YEAR 7

Genral Information

Dr. John Philip was born on the 18th January 1927 in Ballarat and lived for 72 years dyeing on the 26th June 1999. He was a physicist and hydrologist. John enrolled at Scotch Collage at the age of 13 were he received a scholarship. At the University of Melbourne he studied for his Bachelor of civil engineering.

Contributions to Science

John was most famous and well known for his work on his theory of infiltration (the movement of water, energy and gases). John didn't carry out his own experiments however, his skills in mathematics enabled him to explain physical processes and solve real world problems. John Philip developed mathematical equations to describe soil and water physics. These were important in the days before computers. His mathematical analysis showed general patterns in the infiltration of water through soil. He also studied evaporation. He developed a soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. He invented ways to measure heat and evaporation in soil which are still used today.

Reasherch Currently being Undertaken in John's fields of Science


Natural gas plays a key role in our nation's clean energy future. There are huge reserves of natural gas that are commercially workable as a result of progressions in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies enabling greater access to gas in shale formations. Responsible development of America's shale gas resources offers important economic, energy security, and environmental gains.

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is working with key stakeholders to help control that natural gas extraction does not come at the expense of public health and the environment. John Philips work played a role in peoples understanding of how the liquids and gasses move through soil.

Impact on society's understanding

He founded the CSIRO Institute of Physical Sciences. He was a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and helped the government work out what scientist were expected and allowed to do . Society understands how to be prepared for droughts or floods because of his work. He acted, published poems and was interested in architecture . He was on the committee that awarded the Sulman prize for architecture and was heavily involved in the design Pye building at the CSIRO laboratories, where he worked.