Abstract: By the 1960’s a significant quantity of thermochemical physical-property data had been assembled into critically assessed compilations. The data’s use was often limited to simple chemical systems following simple calculation procedures because access to electronic computers and software was not generally available. Significant changes in computer accessibility occurred around 1970. In 1971 Dr. Gunnar Eriksson published the program SOLGAS  enabling the calculation of the equilibrium composition of complex systems. Improvements by Eriksson gave SOLGASMIX in 1975 . CSIRO obtained a CDC-Cyber- 7600 computer in the mid 1970’s located in Canberra and made it accessible Australia-wide over CSIRONET. Collaborating with Dr. Eriksson and the British National Physical Laboratory, Dr. Alan Turnbull of CSIRO Division of Mineral Chemistry developed in 1975, the CSIRO-NPL Thermodata-System [3, 4], that enabled thermochemical databases to be used by application programs, including an equilibrium module that used SOLGASMIX as its calculation engine. Collaboration with Dr Eriksson continued, including an Australian visit to CSIRO in 1984. Thermochemical computing has developed from using inputs of punched-card decks and output on line-printers to graphic output on laptop computers. The heart of many systems has remained the genius of Dr. Gunnar Eriksson.
Author: Michael W. Wadsley
Keywords: Thermochemistry, Gibbs-Energy Minimisation, Databases