A Tribute to Gordon Troup, MD

It is with sadness that we have learned of the death on 21 December 2015 in Melbourne, Australia, of Professor Vale Gordon Troup, at the age of 83.  Gordon was a founding member of our International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research and, until mid-2015, a valuable contributor to our critiques.  Professor Troup’s interests were wide, beginning in physics, then leading to studies of free radicals in wine and other alcoholic beverages.  He will be sorely missed, both as a respected scientist and a friend.

Obituary from Australian newspaper, published 27 January 2016

Vale Gordon Troup, popular Monash University physics researcher, Physicist and memorable Monash identity, died peacefully in a Melbourne hospital on 21 December 2015, aged 83. His university career as a teacher, researcher and research supervisor spanned a remarkable 54 years.

Dr Troup joined the Physics department as a lecturer in 1961, the first year of undergraduate teaching at Monash, advancing rapidly to senior lecturer, and was promoted to a Readership in Physics in 1969. Despite taking early retirement in 1993, he soon returned to Monash as an honorary senior research fellow in Physics, where he remained actively engaged for the rest of his life.

Dr Troup began his research career in physics working on lasers and infra-red masers at the Commonwealth government’s weapons research establishment in South Australia. In 1958, he obtained a Master of Science from the University of London during an extended secondment to the Royal Aircraft Establishment in the UK. In 1972 he was awarded a Doctor of Science by the University of Melbourne for his thesis on quantum electronics.

Dr Troup is remembered by colleagues and students as a formidably intelligent and challenging scientist, with a vivid, forceful and energetic personality. He brought colour and enthusiasm to his scientific discipline and to his dealings with the wider university community. In the 1960s he even coached the University’s fencing team. His professional work on musical acoustics, voice analysis and instrumentation reflected his personal passion for music and his fine singing voice.

Dr Troup was published widely in his areas of research interest. Some of his most popular research included his career long work in ESR (electron spin resonance) spectrometry, where an enthusiastic public learnt that there were potential health benefits from the antioxidant properties of “stable free radicals” in red and white wine, brandy and coffee, as seen in this article from last year.