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Bill Robinson: Google Doodle celebrates New Zealand scientist’s 81st birthday




Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the inventor of the “quake breaker”, Bill Robinson’s 81st birthday, a lead-rubber bearing that is as yet used to shield huge buildings from seismic waves, forestalling earthquake harm.

“There’s only one rule, and that is ‘Try, try, try,’” said Dr. William Robinson, widely hailed as one of New Zealand’s most versatile and achieved researchers.

Who is Bill Robinson?

William Henry Robinson QSO was a New Zealand scientist and seismic engineer who concocted the lead rubber bearing seismic isolation gadget. He experienced childhood in West Auckland, New Zealand. He earned a Masters at the Ardmore School of Engineering, then a Ph.D. in Physical Metallurgy at the University of Illinois. Robinson was a director of the DSIR’s Physics and Engineering Laboratory somewhere in the range of 1985 and 1991. He kept on creating and develop seismic isolation gadgets, travel and lectures until his mid-70s.

Bill Dr. William Robinson
Bill Robinson

Born on this day in 1938 into a common laborer’s family, Bill Robinson proceeded to study Mechanical Engineering at Auckland University. Robinson is most outstanding for his development of the lead rubber bearing (LRB) seismic isolation gadget. He designed the LRB in 1974 while working as a researcher for DSIR (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Zealand). Robinson designed a gadget produced using rubber and steel with lead at its core, proposing to accommodate his creation to the establishments of enormous structures so as to isolate them from ground movements.

Bill Robinson’s creation is presently utilized on numerous buildings and bridges around the globe, including Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Following the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, the gadget spared numerous lives at Christchurch Women’s Hospital, as the building’s establishment influenced delicately as opposed to falling in the quake.

In 1995, Bill Robinson established Robinson Seismic, an organization specializing in isolation technology. He likewise sought after research in different fields, including high-temperature superconductivity. An individual of New Zealand’s Royal Society, in 1998 Robinson got the Rutherford Medal, his nation’s most prestigious science and technology award. In 2014, the Robinson Research Institute was built up in his honor at Victoria University in his hometown of Wellington.

Bill Robinson was a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He was awarded: the Rutherford Medal (the Royal Society Gold Medal for Technology, 1999); an Honorary DSc from Victoria University of Wellington (1995); the Hutton Medal (NZ Institute of Physics, 1992); the ER Coopers Medal for Engineering Research (NZ Royal Society, 1991); the Michaelus Medal for Physics (University of Otago, 1976). He was appointed a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order in the 2007 Queen’s Birthday Honors. The Robinson Research Institute was formed at Victoria University of Wellington in 2014, and “named to honor the late Dr. Bill Robinson—inspirational scientist, seismic engineer and early champion of HTS [high-temperature superconductivity] technology”.

“I’ve invented more devices which have failed than devices which have been a success,” said Bill Robinson in a 2007 interview. “You’ve gotta be willing to actually try and fail and learn from your failure.”

Thanks to an innovator who tried constantly—and whose work will keep sparing lives for many decades to come.

On 2 October 2019, Google honored Bill Robinson by celebrating what might have been his 81st birthday with a Google Doodle. Today’s Doodle represented by Wellington-based visitor artist Jez Tuya.

Dan Zinman started his career as an astronomer and college professor and quickly expanded into popularizing the understanding of science and scientific discovery. He did this through writing books, essays, and articles. He is contributing by writing news articles for

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