Product has been added to the basket

Charles Strachan Hutchison 1933-2011

Charles Strachan Hutchison Charles S. Hutchison, Emeritus Professor at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur and a Fellow of the Geological Society of London died aged 78 on 18 October 2011. He is best known for his research, teaching and writing on the geology of Southeast Asia.

Hutchison (Photo: courtesy, University of Malaya) was born in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire (UK) on 17 April 1933 and obtained a BSc with first class honours in geology from the University of Aberdeen in 1955. After working as a petroleum geologist in Trinidad for two years, Hutchison became a lecturer in the newly-founded geology department of the University of Malaya in Singapore, where he also completed his doctoral thesis, Tectonic and petrological relations within three rock associations of orogenic zones on Malaysia (1966). The Malay Peninsula became Hutchison’s home for the rest of his life. In 1960, he moved to the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur where he played a leading role in establishing the University’s geology department. In 1977, Hutchison was promoted to full professor of applied geology at the University of Malaya, a position he held until 1992. He served as head of the geology department from 1978-82. He was appointed Professor Emeritus in 2004.

Hutchison was a founding member of the Geological Society of Malaysia in 1967, and served as its President from 1969-70. As a visiting professor, Hutchison taught courses at the University of Kansas (Lawrence), the University of Brunei Darussalam, and Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok). He served as co-coordinator for the Studies in East Asian Tectonics and Resources (SEATAR) Transects of the Committee for Co-ordination of Joint Prospecting for Mineral Resources in Asian Offshore Areas (Bangkok) and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (Paris) from 1988-91, and edited and contributed to a number of its reports. During 1993-94, he was affiliated with the Earth Sciences and Resources Institute of the University of South Carolina, managing the Institute’s training program in Southeast Asian countries.

Hutchison was a prolific researcher and author. He was one of the early geologists who applied the plate tectonic theory to interpretations of Southeast Asian geology. He was an author or co-author of over 120 articles published in various journals and book volumes during 1960s-2000s, and editor or co-editor of several volumes including Geology of the Malay Peninsula: West Malaysia and Singapore (with D J Gobbett, Wiley-Interscience, 1973); Geology of Tin deposits in Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP, Springer-Verlag, 1988); Geology of Peninsular Malaysia (with D N K Tan, 2009).

He wrote five books: Laboratory Handbook of Petrographic Techniques (Wiley-Interscience, 1974); Economic Deposits and Their Tectonic Setting (MacMillan, 1983); Geological Evolution of South-East Asia (Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics 13, 1989; 2nd edition, 2007, Geological Society of Malaysia); South-East Asian Oil, Gas, Coal and Mineral Deposits (Oxford Monographs on Geology and Geophysics 36, 1996); Geology of North-West Borneo (Elsevier, 2005).

As an excellent, popular teacher, he trained generations of Southeast Asian geologists; his publications were seminal contributions to the regional tectonics, igneous petrography, and economic geology of Southeast Asia and influenced many geologists working in this fascinating region. A true gentleman, Hutchison was always willing to help his students and colleagues. He believed that geology involved interpretation at all scales, and did not allow differences in geological views and interpretations to obscure his kindness and respect toward other geologists.

For his contributions to geoscience, Hutchison was elected Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of Malaysia, the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy of London, and the Mineralogical Society of America. In 1994, Hutchison received the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Special Commendation Award. In September 2012, the late Professor Hutchison was remembered at two Memorial Sessions held at AAPG’s International Conference and Exhibition in Singapore.

Rasoul Sorkhabi