Barry Welch joined the academic staff in the School of Chemical Technology at UNSW in 1963 where he established fundamental and applied research in high temperature electrochemistry and extractive metallurgy. He Initiated research in aluminium smelting that continued beyond his relocation to the University of Auckland in 1980. Under his mentorship and guidance, UNSW has remained an active contributor to aluminium smelting research and education through the Australasian Aluminium Smelting Technology Conferences and postgraduate diploma courses that he initiated as well as the on-going research that he continues to instigate and direct. Some early project topics that he inspired covered (i) basic electrochemical studies (ii) inert anodes (iii) inert cathodes and (iv) room temperature molten salts. This presentation will describe highlights of this research, while more recent studies in individual anode current measurements, fault detection, advanced control, improved feeder design, cell modelling and simulation, have been covered elsewhere.