Douglas Alfred Hall was born in Bristol in 1907. He obtained a First Class Honours degree in chemistry from Bristol University followed by research on flame radiation and then went to the Fuel Research Station, working mainly in its Coal Survey offices in Nottingham and Birmingham. In 1951 he became National Coal Board Divisional Chief Scientist in Durham and following a reorganisation in 1955 he became Regional Chief Scientist for the North East, a position he held until he retired in 1973. In this post he was responsible for managing the routine scientific work, but also in carrying out investigations in areas such as noise, dust, coal preparation, automatic analysis, coke quality and spontaneous combustion. Results were disseminated in many papers in the scientific and technical press and were widely applied to deal with specific problems.
He was awarded the MBE in the 1972 Birthday honours. He received the NEIMME G.C.Greenwell Bronze Medal for his paper on dust concentration noted below and, with his co-authors, the Colliery Guardian Prize in 1974 for the tube bundle paper.
He was NEIMME President in 1975-76 and had also been Chairman of the North Eastern Section of the Institute of Fuel and Chairman of the Northern Section of the Coke Oven Managers Association. As someone interested in technical education he served on the advisory committees of a number of colleges.
Hall died in 1997.
Scarf, F., Hall, D.A. & Yearsley, C.W. The storage of coal: The effects of storage without rise in temperature Transactions – Institution of Mining Engineers 100 1940-41, 88-129
Hall, D.A. Factors affecting airborne dust concentrations with special reference to the effect of ventilation Transactions – Institution of Mining Engineers 115 1955-56, 245-269
Hall, D.A. The scientist in relation to engineering in the coalmining industry. Mining Electrical and Mechanical Engineer 45 1964-65
Hall, D.A., Sproson, J.C., and Gray, W.A., The rapid determination of moisture in coal using microwaves. Part I: Laboratory investigations. Journal – Institute of Fuel 43 1970, 350–35
Chamberlain, E.A.C. and Hall, D.A. The ambient temperature oxidation of coal in relation to the early detection of spontaneous heating: Part 2. Mining Engineer 132 1972-73, 387-399
Hall. D.A. The past and the future [Presidential address NEIMME] Mining Engineer 135 1975-76, 699-701