The Loftus-Hills Award of Merit was instituted in 1976. It recognises a significant contribution to the development and uptake of science and new technology in the Australian dairy industry. The award is named after Geoffrey Dean Loftus-Hills, a talented scientist who worked to advance the dairy industry by introducing new products, improving manufacturing efficiency and quality.
The criteria for the award are:
- Published works in the field of dairy science and technology undertaken within Australia and in a form readily available to dairy technologists in Australia
- Recognised performance in the introduction of new science or technology into the Australian dairy industry
- It is not mandatory for nominees to be members of the DIAA and/or to participate in DIAA activities, but such involvement adds strength to a nomination
The Loftus-Hills Award of Merit can be awarded no more than once in any calendar year, and it need not be awarded every year.
The DIAA Awards Committee assesses the relative merits of the candidates nominated for this award and makes a recommendation to the DIAA Board.
Geoffrey Dean Loftus-Hills was an able scientist who worked to advance the dairy industry by introducing new products, improving manufacturing efficiency and quality.
Mr Loftus-Hills graduated Bsc. Agr. Sci. from the University of Melbourne in 1930 and joined the Victorian Department of Agriculture. There he worked on factors influencing the keeping quality of dairy products.
During 1934 and 1935 he studied at the National Institute for Research in dairying in the UK and visited research centres in USA and Europe. He left the Department of Agriculture in 1937 to work in private enterprise on continuous buttermaking.
In 1940, he joined the CSIRO Division of Chemical Engineering working in a small group concerned with chemical engineering developments in dairy manufacturing. All this background led to his appointment as officer in charge of the Dairy Research Section of CSIRO. The Section later moved to Highett, Vic and, by 1962, had grown to be the Division of Dairy Research.
Another prominent dairy industry figure, John Bryant, was impressed by his observations overseas on the usefulness of the Society of Dairy Technology in the UK. He proposed a similar society in Australia. Mr Loftus-Hills strongly supported the concept and worked hard to bring it about.
The first issue of the Australian Journal of Dairy Technology was published in 1946. At that time, each State Division of the Society appointed an editor. Mr Loftus-Hills was the editor for Victoria and later served as Editor-in-Chief, from 1952 to 1968. Mr Loftus-Hills served as director of the 18th International Dairy Congress held in Sydney in 1970. He also accepted the presidency of IDF Commission B – Technology and Engineering.
After Mr Loftus-Hills retired in 1971, he continued his interest in the Society and in IDF. He died on July 16, 1999.
The Dairy Industry Association of Australia instituted a silver medal in Loftus-Hills’ honour in 1976. It is awarded annually to a person who has published an article or articles which make a significant contribution to dairy science or technology.
Download an article about Geoffrey Loftus-Hills published in Australian Dairy Foods magazine (pdf 121kb)
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