Most of Austin’s career was spent at the Department of Physics, University of York, retiring from the position of Senior Lecturer in 2002. He taught a variety of undergraduate courses in thermodynamics, analytical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, electromagnetic theory, elasticity and properties of matter, ray optics, theory of dislocations, periodic structures, environmental physics, group theory, magnetism, solid state physics, and vacuum techniques.
Teaching of vacuum techniques has featured prominently at both the graduate level and as a designer (with colleagues RK Fitch and BS Halliday) of vacuum training courses set up under the auspices of the Institute of Physics and supported by the British Vacuum Council. These courses were run regularly for graduate students, industrial companies and government laboratories.
Austin has had two books published: ‘Basic Vacuum Technology’ (with RK Fitch and BS Halliday) and ‘Modern Vacuum Physics’, confirming his place as the pre-eminent teaching authority on vacuum techniques and a very worthy winner of the first Harry Leck Memorial Medal.