Professor Thomas LeechPrint Page Print this page

The Blue Plaque recognises Professor Thomas Leech (1902 - 1973), renowned professor and head of the Scientific Services Division of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme, who also helped develop the black box flight recorder. 

The New South Wales Blue Plaques program celebrates heritage by recognising noteworthy people and events from our State’s history. The program aims to capture public interest and fascination in people, events and places which form the story of NSW. It is inspired by the famous London Blue Plaques program which originally started in 1866, and similar programs around the world

The first 17 recipients of the revered NSW Blue Plaques have been announced and Cooma’s Professor Thomas (Tom) Leech was among them.

Leech was the first engineer-in-charge of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority’s (SMHEA) Scientific Services Division (SSD) – and a man whose contribution to Cooma was felt at every level of the community.

The NSW Blue Plaque program celebrates NSW heritage by calling for public nominations of noteworthy people and events from our state’s history to be recognised with a plaque. Inspired by the famous London Blue Plaques program, each plaque will be digitally linked to interesting, fun, quirky and sombre stories of our past.

Leech’s Plaque is earmarked for the SMEC Fluid Mechanics Laboratory entrance, the proposed Hydro 1 Heritage Centre site. His nomination came from NSW MLC Bronnie Taylor who said she was “thrilled” it was successful. “Professor Leech was just legendary and I think it’s really important to share people’s stories to acknowledge their contribution to our history but also to inspire the future,” Mrs Taylor said. “And when you look at the list of recipients, there are so many from all over regional NSW, which is wonderful.”
Riotact, 30 April 2022. 





Address:220 - 226 Sharp Street, SMEC Fluid Mechanics, Cooma, 2630
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.238481
Long: 149.118891
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 1st November, 2022
Front Inscription

NSW Government

Professor Thomas Leech

1902 - 1973

Engineer-in-charge and scientist worked here 

Source: Blue Plaques Program, MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au