Scientia Professor Trevor McDougall has just wrapped up a seven-week lecture series at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 

The talks were held at MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). The Department's work encompasses atmospheres, climate, geobiology, geochemistry, geology, geophysics, oceans, and planetary sciences.

Professor McDougall presented the following seven lectures on the Thermodynamics of Seawater and Ice for the 2015 Houghton Lecture Series, from October to December: 

  1. The Fundamental Thermodynamic Relation and the First Law of Thermodynamics
  2. The “Potential” Property and the “Conservative” Property; What is the Heat Content of Seawater?
  3. How to Evaluate the Importance of the Non-Conservation of Several Thermodynamic Variables Such as Entropy
  4. The Thermodynamic Framework for Studying the Interaction of Ice and Seawater, Including Frazil Ice
  5. Bulk Potential Enthalpy as the Way of Handling Frazil Ice in Coupled Ice-Ocean Models
  6. The Neutral Tangent Plane, Neutral Helicity, and the “Thin” Nature of the Ocean in Salinity-Temperature-Pressure Space
  7. Thermobaricity, Cabbeling, Neutral Helicity and the Closed Expression for the Absolute Velocity in the Ocean.

Professor McDougall is internationally renowned for his ground-breaking work on ocean mixing processes and the thermodynamics of seawater. His visit to MIT was part of a six-month sabbatical, which has seen him traverse several corners of the northern hemisphere. His trip kicked off in Prague during the European summer, he spent time in the picturesque Piedmont region of Italy, enjoyed a brief but "stimulating" visit to Princeton, and spent the last few months at MIT in Boston. Prof McDougall will arrive back in Australia this week.

The lecture series at MIT caps off a very successful and busy year for Prof McDougall.

In June he was presented the 2015 Jaeger Medal for Research in Earth Sciences, three weeks before he was announced as one of 15 recipients of a prestigious ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship. Barely a fortnight later we received the news that Prof McDougall was elected to the position of Vice President of the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans. In September, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW.