Professor Geoffrey  Opat  was  the Professor  of Experimental Physics at the University of Melbourne when  he died suddenly in March 2002.  He had  an enthusiasm for teaching physics at all levels,  from kindergarten to postgraduate. His enormously creative ideas in many  different areas were  the hallmarks of a remarkable career in research and  in service to the physics profession and  to education in Victoria, in Australia  and  internationally. Geoffrey  was  awarded the Dux of Brighton Grammar School in 1953. On completing his PhD at the University of Melbourne Geoffrey  was  a Fullbright Fellow USA (1961  to 1964) during which time he was Research Associate in Theoretical Physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He was  also  a Research Fellow in the UK (1970  to 1971) at the Rutherford High Energy Laboratory. Ultimately Geoffrey  returned to the University of Melbourne in the role of Professor of Experimental Physics in 1973. Throughout his career Geoffrey  held many  roles  in Australia and abroad including Vice Chancellor of the University of Melbourne and Head of the School of Physics. Also, he was  a member of the Physics Standing Committee of the Universities and  School Examinations Board  for several decades – fighting, often with a lone voice,  for maintaining rigorous standards. Geoffrey  would look for opportunities to offer enrichment lectures and activities for students and teachers organising conferences, lecture series, etc. His breadth as a scholar was widely recognised and led to his advice being  sought nationally  and  internationally. Another  of Geoffrey’s passions was  to invent new gadgets – some of which were  more  useful  than  others. For example, he invented the ‘rubbery ruler’ in 1995 which led to worldwide patents and  an R&D 100 Award. In recognition of his boundlessly creative ideas, Geoffrey was  invited to become a Board  Member of the Museum of Victoria and  to chair its Research Committee. He also chaired the Research Committee of the Victorian College of the Arts. He loved the opera and  was  a keen ‘bathroom tenor’. On Australia  Day 2002  Geoffrey  was  awarded an Order of Australia  for services to scientific  research, theoretical and  experimental physics; support for the College of the Arts & Museum of Victoria.

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