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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 7 December 2010) . . Page.. 5882 ..

Crieff for his secondary education from 1940 to 1944. His time there coincided with children being evacuated from Glasgow during the war. He and his brother and sister were sent to a village called Braco, which was nine miles from Crieff. Tom travelled to Crieff each day to attend Morrison’s.

He completed his education there and, as many 17-year-olds leaving school at that time did, he then joined the Royal Navy. He was a petty officer radio mechanic. After the war, he attended Glasgow University from 1948 to 1952 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in engineering, with first class honours in electrical engineering. He received numerous awards and prizes during his university course, including the Howe Prize in electrical engineering in 1952. This was awarded to him as the student who had attained the highest standard of excellence in the work of the lecture and laboratory classes in electrical engineering of the second, third and fourth years and, on graduation, a letter from the Professor of Electrical Engineering said in part:

It has been a great pleasure to have had you in the Department as a student and I take this opportunity to congratulate you on your distinguished undergraduate career and its highly successful termination. It has given great satisfaction to us all.

During his time in the Royal Navy, Tom served on ships in Japan, Singapore, and Sri Lanka and spent time in Sydney, when young sailors were “off-loaded” to enable married UK servicemen to return home sooner. He decided then that he would, if he could, return to Australia, which he did by joining the Royal Australian Navy in 1952, arriving in Melbourne on Melbourne Cup Day of that year.

During his five years in the Royal Australian Navy, he served at HMAS Cerberus, on HMAS Vengeance, at HMAS Leeuwin and on HMAS Waramunga as Electrical Officer. In 1957, he moved to South Australia and became a scientific officer at the Weapons Research Establishment at Woomera, where he stayed until 1962, when he moved to Adelaide and became a senior lecturer in electronics at the South Australian Institute of Technology.

He moved to Canberra in 1964, where he became the First Director of the NASA STADAN Station at Orroral Valley, where he remained until 1967, when he moved to the NASA MSFN Station at Honeysuckle Creek. In 1970, he became Director of the two NASA Deep Space Stations located at Tidbinbilla, and he remained in that position until 1988, when he retired, but he remained a consulting engineer until 1990.

It is interesting to note that in the book Uplink—Downlink: a history of the deep space network 1957-1997 the author, Doug Mudgway, said of Tom Reid:

His crisp management style and penchant for clear lines of authority, particularly in his relationship with JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and NASA personnel, made a visit to ‘his’ complex a memorable experience for many Americans. He ran the station in a disciplined, formally organized way that attracted and retained the best technical staff available. As a direct result of their teamwork and his leadership, the CDSCC played a critical role in all of NASA’s deep space missions in the years 1970-1988.

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