Prof Arthur Donald Walsh FRS FRSE FRIC (8 August 1916 – 23 April 1977) was a British chemist, who served as Professor of Chemistry at the University of Dundee. He is usually referred to as Donald Walsh. He was the creator of the Walsh diagram and Walsh's Rules.
He was born on 8 August 1916 in Loughborough, Leicestershire the son of Arthur Thomas Walsh, an architectural technician, and his wife, Amy Florence Vollans (d.1925).
Walsh was educated at Loughborough Grammar School.
He then studied Sciences at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, graduating MA in 1938 and continuing as a postgraduate, receiving his doctorate (PhD) in 1941. He thereafter became an ICI fellow 1941 to 1949 then in 1949 was employed as a lecturer and reader in Physical Chemistry at the University of Leeds for six years.
In 1955 he left Leeds to take the Baxter Chair of Chemistry at Queen's College, Dundee, then a part of the University of St Andrews where he then spent the rest of his career. During his tenure he expanded the number of staff in his department, and attracted several research chemists via industrial research grants. When Queen’s College gained independence as the University of Dundee in 1967, he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science. As Dean of Science, he played a key role in creating a biochemistry department at the University. As convenor of the University of Dundee’s gardens sub-committee he was a prime mover in developing open spaces on the institutions main campus, notably Frankland Court, the establishment of which particularly pleased him.
In 1953 Walsh published a series of papers which introduced the Walsh diagrams, using molecular orbital energies as a function of bond angles to predict molecular geometry in both ground and excited states. His work on molecular spectroscopy and combustion was well respected.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His proposers were Ernest Geoffrey Cullwick, George Dawson Preston, John Meadows Jackson, Alexander Murray MacBeath and Anthony Elliot Ritchie. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1964.
He was forced to retire from Dundee in 1976 due to failing health, and died the following year.
He died in Dundee on 23 April 1977.
His extensive papers are held by Archive Services, University of Dundee.
In 1945 he married Elin Frances Woolley.
- Knock in Internal Combustion Engines (1944)
- The Structures and Spectra of Molecules (1951)