Western University Physics adn AstronomyWestern Science

Graham Rose 1984 to 1989

Parker Alford was followed as Department Chairman by Graham S. Rose [1961-93] (Birmingham, BSc, 1951, PhD, 1954), the first person to lead the Department who was not brought in from outside the University. Graham came to Western in 1961 from a position as Research Officer in the Division of Applied Physics at the National Research Council. He was on leave from the Department for several years, starting in 1970, when he served as Professor of Physics at University College, Cape Coast, Ghana, under the sponsorship of the Canadian International Development Agency. The next year he surprised us all by returning to Western to become Assistant Dean of Arts (1971-75) and then Acting Dean of Arts (1975-76). He served as Acting Chairman of the Department during Dr. Alford's study leave in 1978-79.

The next five years was a period of renewal for the Department, and with Graham's leadership and administrative skills the Department made the most of the opportunities. One of these opportunities came from a provincial review of the graduate program in 1985, which was very critical of the paucity of theorists in the Department, and put the Department on probation. Graham used this as very effective ammunition with the university administration to make some advanced replacements, and to hire, over the next few years four new theoreticians in all the major research areas in the Department:

Also hired at this time was Robert J. Sica [1988-present] (Alaska, PhD, 1985).


Graham also played an important part in negotiations with AECL and within the university which culminated in 1986 with a 2.5 MV Van de Graaff positive ion accelerator being installed in the basement of the Physics and Astronomy Building, and with 4 senior scientists coming to Western - Ian V. Mitchell [1986-present] (ANU, Canberra, PhD, 1964) and Dr. Peter Norton as Professors to Physics and Chemistry, respectively, and Drs. Willy Lennard and Keith Griffiths as Research Scientists, also to Physics and Chemistry, respectively; together the personnel and facilities are known as Interface Science Western (ISW). Subsequently, ISW developed a second laboratory housing a 1.7 MV high current Tandem accelerator which is able to deliver beams of both light and heavy ions. With the addition of ISW condensed matter physics became a major research field in the Department.