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Leonard McNamara (Len) Hogan (1920–2000)

by Sandra Hogan

from Age

Len Hogan, c.1949 [detail]

Len Hogan, c.1949 [detail]

photo provided by family

Coming of age in the Depression, there seemed no chance that Len [Leonard McNamara] Hogan, son of a Melbourne caterer, would get the chance to go to university. But World War II gave him that opportunity and, when he died, he was one of Australia's most distinguished researchers in the field of metallurgy.

Dr Hogan contributed significantly to the understanding of the solidification of an alloy system that has become one of the most important casting alloys and is used extensively for applications such as aluminium alloy wheels.

The work of Hogan and his students at the University of Queensland helped Comalco become a major player in the commercial development of his alloy.

In a soon-to-be-released history of the Queensland University department of mining and metallurgical engineering, Hogan is acknowledged as one of the two outstanding figures in the research side. Two years ago, it instituted the Len Hogan prize for the best performance in materials. His legacy continues in a Cooperative Research Centre, CAST, of which Comalco is a partner.

He won a scholarship to Xavier College and became dux but during the Depression his family could not afford to send him to university. He went into banking until joining the army in January 1942.

He was posted to Borneo and New Guinea. The army did something important to set him up for the rest of his life: it recommended him as someone of "outstanding intelligence" and post-war grants allowed him to begin his university study.

He and his wife, Rosa, moved to Brisbane in 1954 where Hogan became a junior academic at the University of Queensland. they had two daughters, Annette and Sandra, the author of this biography.

At home, he was cherished as a good, gentle man who never raised his voice or his hand, never swore, never said anything mean about anyone, never made judgments and was a man without prejudice.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Leonard McNamara (Len) Hogan

Additional Resources

Citation details

Sandra Hogan, 'Hogan, Leonard McNamara (Len) (1920–2000)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 May 2024.

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