The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

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Francesco Gerali

Dr Francesco Gerali

Honorary Research Fellow

Contact details
The University of Western Australia (M204)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 2280
09/1993 – 07/1998
Diploma of Educator, Lyceum of Social Sciences and Education, La Spezia, Italy.

10/2001 – 10/2003
BA in Modern History (honours), University of Genoa, Italy.

10/2003 – 10/2005
MA in Tools and Methods for the Historical Research (honours), University of Genoa, Italy.

02/2006 – 04/2009
PhD. in History of Science, University of Bari, Italy.

Key research
Francesco researches on the history of science focusing on the scientific and technological development of the modern oil industry. He aims to bring his scholarship on petroleum history into the recently opened research field Energy History, which bears a new multidisciplinary pattern of interpretation - history of environment, business and science - on the production and the utilization of energetic resources in the past centuries.
Francesco’s methodology considers the merging of hard sciences (i.e. geology and engineering) and humanities to interpret and translate complex scientific concepts to converge then into interdisciplinary analysis for the understanding of the meaning of the making oil in the past and the subsequent maturation of the today Oil Society.
Francesco currently hold a Commonwealth Endeavour Program Fellowship and he is working at the history department of the University of Western Australia on the project Preliminary study on the inception of the modern Australian oil industry.
Funding received
Commonwealth Endeavour Fellowship Program 2015
Italian (mother), English (full proficiency), Spanish (full proficiency), French (reading), Portuguese (reading)
- International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO);

- International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC). Executive Committee Officer 2015-2018;

Society for the History of Technology (SHOT);

- Historiadores de la Ciencias y la Humanidades (HSH);

- Petroleum History Institute (PHI);

- Commission of Bibliography and Documentation (CBD). Member of the Board of Advisors;
Honours and awards
2006 Savings Bank Foundation of La Spezia Prize for the reorganization of the historical Archive of the Academy Lunigianese of Science (€3000);

2009 Travel grant awarded by the Academy Lunigianese of Science to present at the 34th INHIGEO meeting of Calgary, Canada (€1800);

2010 Travel grant awarded by ICOHTEC to present at the 37th ICOHTEC meeting of Tampere, Finland (€350);

2011 Travel grant awarded by ICOHTEC to present at the 38th ICOHTEC meeting of Glasgow, Scotland (€350);

2011 Travel grant awarded by SHOT to present at the 54th SHOT meeting, Cleveland, USA ($750);

2012 Travel grant awarded by ICOHTEC to present at the 39th ICOHTEC meeting of Barcelona, Spain (€350);

2012 Travel grant awarded by INHIGEO to present at the 34th IGC meeting of Brisbane, Australia ($500);

2013 Travel grant awarded by ICOHTEC to present at the 24th ICHSTM meeting of Manchester, UK (€350);

2013 The Neu-Withrow Bibliography Prize awarded by the Commission on Bibliography and Documentation of IUHPS (Division of History of Science and Technology), runner up;

2014 Research grant awarded by the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs ($9500);

2014 Travel grant awarded by INHIGEO to present at the 39th meeting of Pacific Grove, USA ($500);

2014 Travel grant awarded by ICOHTEC to present at the 41th ICOHTEC meeting of Brasov, Romania (€400);

Previous positions
Post doctoral fellow, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Current projects
The main purpose of my research proposal is to survey the most significant episodes in the development of the Australian oil industry during the late 19th and the early 20th century. My goal is to outline a framework in which to place the facts, the people, and the conditions involved in the transition of petroleum in Australia from a mineral of secondary importance to the object of a targeted mining policy. The commonly held historical view presents Australia as a country with no substantial oil deposits, and therefore distant from the methods, tools and patterns of the big oil industry. The image of the global oil industry, however, cannot be based only on the oil history case of big producer/exporter countries, but should also include the stories of the much more numerous small producer-countries, which were often not self-sufficient. Australia is an original oil industry case history, from which I am looking to gather a set of data and information that will enhance further comparative studies on the history of petroleum and the geosciences in the world.
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

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Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM