Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Professor Brian Wilson, BSc PhD (NCI)

Full obituary available online at


Born in Belfast in 1930 Brian went on to study at Queen’s University Belfast, graduating in 1952 with a BSc in Physics before completing a Doctor of Philosophy in Astrophysics at the National University of Ireland in 1956. He was a noted researcher in Astrophysics and X-ray astronomy, and his work was published extensively.


Brian immigrated to Canada, where he went on to become a professor in physics and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at the University of Calgary, as well as Vice-President (Academic) and professor of astronomy at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He later immigrated to Australia and was the longest-serving Vice-Chancellor of University of Queensland from 1979 until 1995.


He received a number of awards for his services to education, including being made an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 1995 for Services to Australian Higher Education. The University of Queensland also awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Science as well as conferring the title of Professor Emeritus on his retirement.


Brian is survived by his wife Joan and his children Bronwen, Patrick, Brendan, Conor, Fergus and Cormac.

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