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Published online: 25 October 2018

Vale A/Professor Horst Werner Doelle (1/9/1932–6/9/2018)

Horst graduated with a degree in Botany and Microbiology in 1954 from the University of Jena in Germany, followed by a ‘Dr. Rer. Nat.’ which is a Doctor rerum naturalium, literally: Doctor of the things of nature, doctor of natural sciences, which is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities in European countries equivalent to a PhD. Dr Doelle started at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 1964 as a Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at the Department of Microbiology as one of the founding members of this Department. He was subsequently awarded a PhD from UQ in 1966 and a DSc in 1975 for recognition of his publication outputs. From 1974 until his retirement in 1992 he held the position of Associate Professor at the Department of Microbiology at UQ. Professor Victor Skerman enabled Horst to develop his program of research. He was invited to deliver more than 70 lectures and courses worldwide, with more than 10 of these post retirement. He was a an active member of ~20 societies and organisations including the Australian and American Societies for Microbiology, British Society of General Microbiology, Australian and British Biochemistry Societies, World Federation of Culture Collections, International Cell Research Organisation, New York Academy of Sciences, International Organisation for Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering, American Biographical Insistute, Australian Institute of Energy, and Uniquest’s ‘Consultant Club’. At UQ he also served as a Faculty of Science Executive and Acting Dean, an honorary member of the Department of Chemical Engineering, and the Director of MIRCEN-Biotechnology. He published avidly and also patented eight processes he discovered which led to the development of five companies in the 1980s. Ultimately Dr Doelle loved teaching and developed microbial physiology/biochemistry programs delivered to biochemists, microbiologists and chemical engineers at UQ. The lectures encompassed thermodynamics of biological systems in relation to yeast and mammalian systems as well as detailed lectures on catabolic and biosynthetic events together with their regulatory mechanisms and applications for the improvement of mankind. In 1979 he created the microbial technology and biotechnology program at UQ at the postgraduate level and in 1985 at the undergraduate level. In his day Horst was happy that the course was approved by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and also listed as one of UNESCO’s Microbial Resource Centre’s for Biotechnology (MIRCENs are academic/research institutes co-operations to harness international scientific cooperation). He had a passion to elevate science in developing countries and he visited many countries across Asia and Africa during his career. His vision was vast and now UQ’s Biotechnology program is ranked 7th in the world out of 4000 Universities/Institutions and number one in Australia. He officially retired from UQ in 1992 and continued working as a consultant and publisher with a Biotechnology e-book edited by him as recently as 2008.

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