David Alexander Sutherland died suddenly at his home in Twickenham on December 8th, 1936, at the age of 72.

He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy, Edinburgh University, and the Edinburgh School of Medicine, and studied analytical chemistry under Dr. T.W. Drinkwater for whom he later worked as demonstrator and senior assistant. For six months in 1888 he was assistant to Dr. Wallace, the City Analyst of Glasgow, and later in the same year was research assistant to Professor E.J. Mills, Sir J.G. Debbie, and Mr. E.S. Henderson, F.R.S.

In 1884 he joined the Clippins Oil Co., Ltd., as chemist and assistant manager at their shale mines in Renfrewshire, where his work included oil refining and the manufacture of sulphuric acid. Three years later he left to become consultant and manager to the Burntisland Oil Co., Ltd., also in Scotland. In 1889 he started a consulting practice at Whitehaven, and in 1890 entered into partnership with the late Mr. G.J. Snelus, F.R.S., under the style of Snelus & Sutherland, consulting engineers. After the retirement of Mr. Snelus in 1893, Mr. Sutherland practised alone. During the late nineties and the early years of this century his consulting work in the petroleum industry took him to every part of the world where petroleum was at that time known to exist, including Russia, Rumania, Galicia, Canada, the U.S.A., and South America.

The development of the oil shale deposits in New South Wales and the examination of gold and copper deposits entailed many extended visits to Australia in the years 1905 to 1912. During this period he also reported on the Egyptian Oil Co.’s properties in the Bed Sea district, and subsequently took over the management of the company and developed the first successful wells in the area now included among the properties of the Anglo-Egyptian Oilfields, Ltd. During 1918 and 1914 he reported on petroleum and coal deposits in Russian Turkestan, and in 1918 he went to Central and South America where for six years he was engaged in petroleum development in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Costa Rica. In the later years of his life his petroleum interests were confined to prospecting work in the Red Sea area and in the basin of the Dead Sea in Palestine, and he also advised on deposits of other minerals.

He was a Fellow and sometime Member of Council of the Institute of Chemistry, a Fellow of the Chemical Society, and a Member of the Society of Public Analysts, the Iron and Steel Institute, the Institution of Petroleum Technologists, and the Faraday Society. Mr. Sutherland was elected a Member of the Institution in 1918.

Vol. 46, Trans I.M.M., 1936-37, pp.832-3

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