Roger Powell (scientist)

Roger Powell
Born (1949-06-14) 14 June 1949 (age 73)
Alma mater
Scientific career
ThesisMineral Equilibria in the Leven Schists near Fort William, Inverness-shire (1973)
Doctoral advisorStephen W. Richardson

Roger Powell FRS, (born 14 June 1949) is a British-born Australian based educator and academic. He is Emeritus professor in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne.


Powell was educated at Durham University where he was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in 1970. He went on to study at the University of Oxford where he was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1973 for research on mineral equilibria in the schist rock near Fort William, Scotland supervised by Stephen W. Richardson.

Awards and honours

Powell was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2015. His nomination reads:

Roger Powell has pioneered the development of quantitative approaches to metamorphic rocks by the generation of thermodynamic models for minerals and fluids, and writing the software that implements them. The programs comprise a self-consistent thermodynamic database which describes equilibria among the multi-component mineral phases important in rocks and with full propagation of errors and are among the most highly cited works in the geosciences. He has used these models to make fundamental advances in our understanding of metamorphic and igneous processes across a wide range of geological environments from the crust to deep mantle.

Powell, along with Timothy Holland of Cambridge University developed a widely used thermodynamic database for minerals and developed the THERMOCALC software to undertake calculations on geological material. The software and database are housed on the THERMOCALC website.

Powell was also elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2006. He was awarded the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain's Schlumberger Award in 2007, the Norman L. Bowen Award in 2009 and the Barrow Award in 2021.

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