John Spencer graduated BSc with a major in chemistry from the University of Melbourne in 1949. He commenced work at the CSIRO Division of Building Research, working initially on joint-sealing compounds, bitumens and bituminous roofing and later on thermal, optical and mechanical properties of various types of glazing.
His association with CSIRAC started in 1959 and continued until its decommissioning in 1964. Its use facilitated work on the calculation of solar position and the measurement and estimation of solar radiation on building surfaces leading to the publication of tables for all Australian capital cities. Later, using various CSIRO computers after CSIRAC, he worked on the calculation of indoor temperatures, air conditioning loads and energy consumption in buildings and building thermal modelling. He retired from CSIRO in 1994.
After his retierment he continued to work with CSIRAC serving as a member of the CSIRAC History Team and donating his collection of CSIRAC tapes to the museum's collection. In 1998 John wrote an emulator for CSIRAC to run on a modern personal computer and used it to simulate CSIRAC programs. He also played a major part in recreating music first generated on CSIRAC in the early 1950s.
John Spencer passed away on the 25th December, 2014.
University of Melbourne Database Provenance Section (identifier CSRCP06)