John Andrew Whitlock

Employment History
Relevant Publications



John A Whitlock

Summary of History

Consultant JA Whitlock & Co
Principal, (Small Business Manufacturer) JA Whitlock & Co
Outback Adventures and Art Tours  JA Whitlock & Co
Sports Photography Lett Photography
 Project Leader
(NKCA Technology Transfer, Fire) Fire Science & Technology Centre
[Senior Experimental Scientist; CSOF6]  CSIRO DBCE
& Deputy Program Manager, Fire
 Part-time Teacher,  Petersham College of TAFE
 (Fire Tests subject in Advanced Fire Technology Certificate)
 Project Leader
(NF12 Technology Transfer, Fire) Fire Technology Program
[Experimental Scientist 3]  CSIRO DBCE
Project Leader NF09 (Reaction-to-Fire) Fire Technology Program
[Experimental Scientist 3]  CSIRO DBCE
 Science 3  (Physicist), Fire Research Section
Research Scientist, National Building Technology Centre.
 Science 2, (Physicist), (Fire Tests),  Fire Research Section
Research Scientist (+Acting Sci 3) Experimental Building Station
 Science 2 (Physicist), , Scientific  Equipment Cell
Principal Instrument Officer Experimental Building Station.
 (Acting) Science 1, Scientific  Equipment Cell
Principal Instrument Officer,  Experimental Building Station
 Technical Officer 1 (Engineering),  Noise Investigations Laboratory
 Experimental Building Station.
 Technical Assistant 2 (Engineering), Functional Efficiency Section
 Commonwealth Experimental Building Station.
 Floor Manager (part-time) Sydney University Television Unit.

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Detailed History

1997 - present:

Consultant - (Fire Science and Technology)
JA Whitlock & Co
Principal, (Small Business Manufacturer)
JA Whitlock & Co
Continue manufacture of specialised glass microscope slides as a small business. (Family manufacture for 60 years - established as JA Whitlock & Co for over 30 years)
Outback Adventures and Art Tours
JA Whitlock & Co
Combining interests in outback adventure, 4wd travel and an artist spouse additional business lines have been promoted for specialised trips.
Sports Photography
Lett Photography
Casual engagements photographing winners at harness racing meetings near Sydney. The photography contract for the paceways is held by family interests and involvement supports the family as needs. (This continues from early 1980’s)
December 1997 Left CSIRO.

Mid 1997 Long Service Leave

Visited son in Singapore for 2 weeks.

Travelled by road across the Nullabor and north through the centre of Western Australia, crossing to the coast at Karratha, north again to Cunnamulla and returning to Sydney via Halls Creek, Tanami Desert, Alice Springs, the Finke road to Oodnadatta, Broken Hill and Bathurst. -  Six weeks and 12,500 enjoyable Landrover kilometers camping, painting and unwinding after 32 years at North Ryde.

Travelled to Shanghai and Beijing for two weeks to visit friends and see the sights.
Visited CABR whilst in Beijing.

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1991 - 1997:  Project Leader NKCA (Technology Transfer, Fire)

[Senior Experimental Scientist]
Fire Science & Technology Centre
CSIRO Division of Building Construction and Engineering
Responsible for promoting and marketing Research & Development projects to industry and government, and developing the mechanisms for improved dissemination of research results.

Ongoing research with Fire Spread in Corridors Project funded through the Australian Building Codes Board.

Ongoing commercial consultancies such as radiant heat problems with an LPG flare.

Developing publication of Directory of Fire Tested Products.

Developing the FireSure Fire Safety Products Certification and Labelling Program.

Marketing fire technology software such as FireCalc.

Developing enhanced presentation methods for research staff and projects such as improved user interfacing with software.

Coordinating and providing presentations for the Centre including seminars, conferences, meetings, and associated documentation.

Initiated the following projects and then devolved responsibilities to staff after training:

  • management of the Program's Quality Assurance system, (in preparation for NATA registration).
  • the Calibration Laboratory,
  • PC Support, and Electronics Laboratory,
  • National Fire Incident Statistics project in collaboration with fire authorities and other groups in Australia and overseas,
  • project supervision responsibility for the ABSAC Ltd building systems appraisal system.
Recent Activity (1995-1997)
Consultancy: Radiant Heat Measurements and consultancy for Woodside Onshore Petroleum LPG Flare, Karratha WA 1995 and 1997. (One man “team”)

Consultancy: Hot Smoke tests (World For Kids Chatswood Chase). Assisted collation of equipment, packed, transported and setup facilities for an evening test. Observed test and notes to testing officer. Assisted dismantling, removal and transport of equipment back to base.

Consultancy: Reviewed design proposal for Sydney Airport Rail Link to the New Southern Railway with regard to fire safety. Undertook the egress analysis from the tunnel in the event of a collision and fire in the tunnel using computer modelling. Prepared internal briefing for further studies by other staff of fire and smoke control systems involving fires at platform and concourse levels of stations using Computational Fluid Dynamics analyses.

Consultancy: Major national telecommunications centre halon replacement gas flooding system. Professional involvement during early measurements to ensure validity and acceptability of CSIRO output on behalf of installer. Revised instrumentation requirements and negotiated variations during days leading to the midnight test to ensure all parties requirements were satisfied.   Conceived and provided additional video display facility including realtime measurement data overlaid on televised images of observers inside the sealed room for remote observers.

Reviewed script details and negotiated final approval with CSIRO Legal for client video of  Facade fire tests and demonstration (Ralph Symons Ltd - Symonite cladding)

Reviewed script details regarding fire for a Beyond 2000 production for the Discovery Channel and negotiated CSIRO credit listing (est audience 93 million )

Negotiated withdrawal of marketing video by client where the promotion was based on misinterpretation of CSIRO reports and negotiated a rewrite and re-release to satisfy all parties. (confidential client).

Hosted visit of Malaysian Fire Services representatives sponsored by several customers to build confidence in the capabilities and quality of supportive documentation for the products to ensure acceptance by Malaysian authorities. (Products subsequently accepted for use in Malaysia.)

Hosted visit of an official delegation of 40 Korean local government building officers to review standards and methods of construction and testing of concrete constructions.

Hosted visit by official Japanese delegation of building materials certifiers to assess test methods, standards and laboratories for reciprocal acceptance and accreditation under Japanese Building Code.

Negotiated contracts for consultation, testing and research undertaken with 22 customers on behalf of various teams in the Fire Research group. (identities are confidential)

Developed concepts and proposals to management for the FireSure Fire Safety Products Certification and Labelling Program. Introduced the specification requirement into tender documents for the Prince of Wales Hospital development, Sydney Casino and Bankstown Hospital.

Developed early proposals for Master of Science (Fire Safety Engineering) with University of Western Sydney following negotiations with National Fire Industry Training and Development Project and the National Fire Education Providers Network.

Prepared proposals and contract documentation for Fire Code Reform Centre and provided a “deputy secretariat” function to the Centre. Was a senior member of a small CSIRO team negotiating the concept of the Centre as a potential funding source to undertake AP10, AP16 and AP73 research projects for AUBRCC from the early 1980’s.

Participated in special fire investigations with Police and Fire Services (eg Speed St Liverpool fire, Jan 1995)

Presented sessions to, and participated in, annual Forensic (Arson) training sessions with NSW Police Service at CSIRO Laboratories in collaboration with Canberra CAE.(now ANU)

Other recent presentations include Probus Club of Turramurra, Australian Fire Investigators seminar, University of Technology Forensic Chemistry class,  etc.

Various Union and Management duties including participating in meetings of Occupational Health and Safety committee, Industrial Participation committee, Site Redevelopment Committee, workplace delegate for CPSU, Union nominee to assist an inefficiency action undertaken against a union member.

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1984 - 1997:
Part-time Teacher, Petersham College of TAFE
    (Fire Tests subject in Advanced Fire Technology Certificate)
Responsible for developing and delivery of course material for the subject based on an accredited syllabus provided by a course advisory group.

Class teaching has required 1 to 2 hours on one evening for nine to twelve weeks, plus a laboratory day at CSIRO North Ryde along with assignment and examination marking and subject assessment. Also set the written examination and provided a marking guide for the examination.

The subject has been delivered twice in some recent years with 2 nights a week (different students) for one semester one year and in 1997 delivered once in each of the two semesters.

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1990 - 1991:  Project Leader NF12 (Technology Transfer, Fire)
[Experimental Scientist 3]
Fire Science & Technology Centre
CSIRO Division of Building Construction and Engineering
Leader, Technology Transfer Project. Management responsibility for the Reaction-to-Fire commercial services in Sydney, Quality Assurance Group for Fire Program, Calibration services laboratory, and Research Marketing and Facilities role negotiating $2 M contracts.

Testing and assessment of flammability of sarking materials and supporting clients with appearance as expert witness in Federal Court. This included briefing QC’s prior to hearing and immediate ongoing expert advice to two QCs during the hearing.

In absence of Program Manager I developed and delivered at short notice a presentation (November 1991) to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works together with the Assistant Chief (North Ryde) of the Division Following this presentation the committee chairman, as an aside, sought specific advice from me on matters presented the previous day by the Commonwealth Fire Board. At the conclusion of the on-site hearing at North Ryde the Committee specifically recommended CSIRO Corporate Property to use its internal experts in Fire, and agreed to the North Ryde Site Redevelopment proposal from CSIRO.

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1988 - 1990:  Project Leader NF09 (Reaction-to-Fire) [Experimental Scientist 3]
Fire Technology Program
CSIRO Division of Building Construction and Engineering
Responsible for Reaction-to-Fire tests, coordinating commercial testing services and providing special fire tests including fire behaviour of institutional bedding for Dept of Defence, fire behaviour of non-halogenated cables for automatic telephone exchanges, and initiated collaborative project with NSW Forestry Commission on fire spread in residential corridors.

Sole Australian delegate to ISO TC/92 meetings including all sub-committees and working groups
in Toronto, Canada 1989 and invited to present paper to Fire in Buildings Conference, Toronto, Canada, September 1989.

Following the Conference and the ISO meetings and plenary sessions visited ULC in Toronto, National Institute of Science and Technology (Centre for Fire and Building Research) at Gaithersburg and the National Research Council Fire Laboratory in Ottawa.

Researched the requirements for non-combustibility in Building Code of Australia Clause C3.3(2) and reviewed the performance of representative complying and non-complying materials to recommend alternative regulation wording to delete the need for deemed-to-comply provisions.

Sole researcher reporting in confidence to Australian Uniform Building Regulations Coordinating Council.

Initiated commercial inspection and reporting service for licensed premises under the NSW Liquor Administration Act, involving the determination of fire properties of linings and finishes within those premises and developed subordinate staff expertise to continue the operations.

Initiated development of commercial train seat fire test reports to industry and state railways authorities.

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1985 - 1988: Science 3  (Physicist), Research Scientist,
Fire Research Section
National Building Technology Centre.
Group leader, Reaction-to-Fire tests, coordinating commercial testing services and undertaking all Radiant Heat Assessments for National Building Technology Centre.

Developed a standard methodology for waste bin fire tests.

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1981 -1985: Science 2, (Physicist), Research Scientist,
                    Acting Science 3 (as necessary).
Fire Research Section
Experimental Building Station
Re-evaluated a Station-devised test for thermal diffusivity of masonry and concrete materials to provide a design technique for loadbearing brick walls under fire conditions. Project required analysis of the technique, proof of its reproducibility, extension of its usefulness to other materials and provision of a workable technique. Early work by other staff was added as Part 1 and the whole published as TR494 "Measurement of Thermal Diffusivity of Masonry".  The technique was applauded internationally by several eminent researchers.

Determine the fire resistance behaviour of currently produced solid-core timber doors and determine the mechanism of failure.

Undertook small-scale investigations with the Combustion Laboratory involving routine testing in the absence of technical staff, as well as training contract employees and supervising their daily work.  Investigate aspects of proposed revisions to the Combustibility section of AS1530 and maintain and repair the apparatus for this.

Conducted ad hoc  and large scale research tests including roof shingle tests (ASTM E108 et al), smoke and heat release vent tests (AS 2427 came from this) , dilatometry, combustibility, ignitability, flammability and spread of flame under supervision.

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1978 - 1981:  Science 2 (Physicist), Principal Instrument Officer,
Scientific Equipment Cell
Experimental Building Station.
Operate the Scientific Equipment Cell providing design, production, maintenance, calibration service to all projects reliant upon instruments and computing on site.

Designed and manufactured a number of specialist electronic devices for all sections.

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1973 - 1978:  (Acting) Science 1, Principal Instrument Officer,
Experimental Building Station.
Set up Scientific Equipment Cell at Experimental Building Station. This involved :
(a) developing an operational base for the Cell and procuring the necessary equipment and facilities;
(b) organising proper calibration facilities and procedures and arranging for calibrations to be suitably performed ;
(c) advising on and assisting with the procuring of equipment for these purposes including calculation and computing facilities ;
(e) coordinating the short and long term planning of Station equipment and measurement facilities.
Designed and manufactured a number of specialist electronic devices for all sections.

Developed electronic control aspects of roof loading apparatus to establish a testing regime within days of Cyclone Tracy.

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1968 - 1973:  Technical Officer 1 (Engineering),
Noise Investigations Laboratory
Experimental Building Station
Undertook commercial acoustical testing of building materials and construction, operated the laboratory, maintained equipment and facilities.

Automated laboratory technique.
Introduced and validated “realtime analysis” technique for laboratory and field work.

Highlights of field work include onsite measurements of aircraft noise at Sydney Airport (landings and takeoffs), adjacent to runways and inside a test facility for design validation for International Terminal and Operations Building.

Measured Concorde arrival and departures at airport.

Measured reverberation times of airport terminal buildings. Calculated reverberation time of design for International Terminal.

Measured motor vehicle noise spectrum in realtime in parallel with consultants and technicians using handheld sound level meters with various weighted single-figure measurements (eg dBA).

Completed BA Degree in Electronics and Solid-state Physics at Macquarie University (part time) graduating in May 1973.

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1966 - 1968:   Technical Assistant 2 (Engineering),
Functional Efficiency Section
Commonwealth Experimental Building Station.

1965:  Floor Manager (part-time)
Sydney University Television Unit.



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