Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science

Don Moorcroft 1989 to 1998

The next Chairman of the Department was Donald R. Moorcroft [1963-present]] (Toronto, BASc, 1957; Saskatchewan, MSc, 1960, PhD, 1962), the author of this history. That being the case, it will not be appropriate to say much beyond giving a few facts from this period.

Financial cutbacks were a dominant factor during these years. Between 1990 and 1996 the number of faculty in the original Physics Department decreased from 25 to 18, while at the same time the fraction of research active faculty (as indicated by the holding of NSERC grants) went from 71% to 89%. Although ten faculty members retired or resigned during this period, three new faculty members were hired: Wayne K. Hocking [1990-present] (Adelaide, PhD, 1981), Martin T. Zinke-Allmang [1990-present] (Heidelberg, Dr. rer. nat., 1985), and Peter J. Simpson [1996-present] (Western, MSc, 1988, PhD, 1992). During the same period the Astronomy Department also shrank from 7 faculty to 5, with 3 retirements, and one new faculty member: Hugh M.P. Couchman [1991-present] (Cambridge, PhD, 1986). Perhaps the most significant event of this period has already been mentioned: the amalgamation of the Physics and Astronomy Departments in 1996.