Ian Grant

Ian Grant

Ian Grant
Station Deputy Director 1968 – 1972.
Station Director 20 February 1978 – 20 November 1981.

Photo: by Hamish Lindsay.


Ian Grant was born in Glasgow in 1935. For school, he attended Kelvinside Academy and was soon recognised for his aptitude in science.

After school, he studied at the Royal College of Science and Technology in Glasgow – now known as the University of Strathclyde. He graduated in 1959 with First Class Honours in Electrical Engineering.

Ian’s graduation was followed by a period of Post Graduate research in electronics.

It’s no surprise that, after he married Doris, he found employment with Hawker Siddeley Aviation in Coventry, as a Telemetry Engineer, designing and testing guided missiles.

And in 1965, came the big move all the way to Australia. First of all, to the Aeronautical Research Laboratories at Fishermens Bend in Melbourne.

There, Ian was an Experimental Officer, working on development of the Ikara Missile.

But the Moon was beckoning, and in 1968, Ian was appointed as Deputy Station Director at the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, outside Canberra. Ian was at Honeysuckle Creek for all of the Apollo missions.

But in 1972, after the last lunar landing, Apollo 17, Ian left Honeysuckle to become a Project Engineer in the Department of Defence. There he was involved in the design, construction and testing of the Barra Sonabuoy – a highly successful tool for detecting submarines. He later become the project's production manager, but – after almost six years in that position – Ian was lured back to Honeysuckle Creek – this time as the Station Director.

By now, Honeysuckle was tracking unmanned spacecraft into Deep Space. Ian was Station Director from 1978 until the station closed in 1981.


Ian Grant

Ian Grant, during his time as Station Director at Honeysuckle.

Photo courtesy Ian Grant.


But Ian’s work in space was by no means over. After a short time helping out at Tidbinbilla, he was appointed as Station Director of the Orroral Valley Tracking Station, which supported all sorts of scientific satellites – and also the early Space Shuttle flights.

When NASA closed that station in 1985, Ian organised for the 26 metre antenna to go to the University of Tasmania, where it was gratefully received. It’s still in use today!

The next ten years of Ian’s career made excellent use of his expertise in electronics.

With the Department of Communications in Canberra, he represented Australia in international meetings to do with frequency management – and then, with the Department of Defence, he became Senior Antenna Engineer.

In that capacity, Ian and his team designed and built important satellite antennas that have been critical to Australia’s peace-time security.
Awards and honours showed that Ian was held in very high regard.

Even after he retired in 1995, Ian continued to work as a consultant engineer in satellite and radio communications.

Ian Grant

This TWX message from Bob Leslie announces that Ian Grant is to be the Station Director at Honeysuckle Creek from 20 February 1978, to replace Don Gray, who is going to head the Australian Landsat Station.

Click the image for a 550kb PDF file.
Copy courtesy Ian Grant, scan by Colin Mackellar.


More to come on this page.