News Archives for 2006-07

July, 2007

Patrick Granton wins award

We said farewell to Rob Barbeito, who is leaving us after having worked eight years in the Van de Graaff laboratory.

(image of farewell get-together)

June, 2007

Patrick Granton wins award

Medical Physics graduate student Patrick Granton has won the Best Research Poster award at the recent London Imaging Discovery forum. The paper was entitled "Implementation of Multi-Energy micro-CT Post-Reconstruction Material Decomposition".

Patrick's supervisor is Dr. David Holdsworth.

Patrick's research interests include the expanded performance capabilities of Micro-Computed Tomographic Imaging, and in particular, the application of multi-energy x-ray imaging to extract material-specific information.

June, 2007

Meaghan McGill and Robbie Halonen win award

Robbie Halonen (left) and Meaghan McGill hold the award which they shared for Best Poster Paper. Meaghan presented the paper, entitled "Modeling the Hydrogen Infrared Lines of Be Star Gamma Cassiopeia", at this year's meeting of the Canadian Astronomical Society, which was held in Kingston, Ontario.

This is a research project of Professors Carol Jones and Aaron Sigut.

June, 2007

Childrens Festival - Let's Talk ScienceChildrens Festival - Let's Talk Science

Andrea Moss (left image (left)) and Andrea Domokos were on hand at the Let's Talk Science presentation during the 2007 London Childrens Festival.


May, 2007

Harry Chen (left), Paul Davenport (centre), Harry's wife

Our electronics wizard Harry Chen attended the '25 Year' festivities at the president's residence. Shown in the photo are Harry (right), president Paul Davenport (centre), and Harry's wife Shu (left).

May, 2007

Lisa Durnford shown with chair John R. deBruyn

Grade 12 student Lisa Durnford of Sault Ste. Marie, shown here with chair John deBruyn, was one of 100 students who were invited to tour the Faculty of Science at Western.

Lisa's great grandfather was Bill Durnford (BA Western 1925, MA Western 1926, PhD Toronto 1931), who taught Physics at Western from 1931 to 1970. You can see Bill in some of the department's historical photos.

May, 2007

Prof. Eugene Wong

Prof. Eugene Wong and fellow researchers Dr. Ting Lee and Dr. Glenn Bauman are members of one of three UWO cancer research groups to have been awarded $1.1 million dollars in grants.

Eugene is in Medical Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western. He is an oncologist who has research interests in radiation oncology physics, image guided radiotherapy, treatment optimization, and adaptive radiotherapy.

See the London Free Press article and the official announcement.

Late April, 2007

The D.R. Hay Prize is awarded each year to the student with the highest standing in the fourth year Honors Research Project (Physics 491E) with a minimum mark of 80%.

This year the prize is shared by two of our fourth year students.

Ildiko Beres won for her project entitled "The Effects of Lake Breezes on Summer Thunderstorm Occurrence In Southwestern Ontario".
Ildiko was supervised by Dr. W.K. Hocking.

Elena Gil won for her project entitled "Accuracy Verification of Guiding a Biopsy Needle with the Biopsy Imaging and Needle Guidance System".
Elena was supervised by Dr. A. Fenster.

April, 2007

Laird Lecture 2007

Dr. Anne M. Thompson presented the 2007 Elizabeth Laird Lecture.

The talk was entitled "OZONE: the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the Atmosphere"

April, 2007

GCA-2007 GCA-2007GCA2007GCA-2007

Brian Dalrymple (left) was given the local GCA (Golden Cock Award) by keeper of the award Phin Perquin (right). This special award goes to a deserving person within the department. (Photos: Michel Debruyne)

March, 2007

Recent Faculty AwardsTwo of our faculty members are recent award winners.

Prof. Shantanu Basu is a recipient of the Faculty Scholar Award.

Established in 2005, the Faculty Scholars Award recognizes significant recent scholarly achievements in teaching or research. Nominated by faculty deans and selected by the Faculty Selection committee chaired by the Provost, the recipients have an international presence in their discipline and are considered all-round scholars.

Recent Faculty AwardsProf. Patrick Whippey is one of four winners of The Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

The University of Western Ontario's Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching is co-presented by The University Student's Council, The Bank of Nova Scotia and UWO Alumni Association, to recognize, celebrate and award excellence in undergraduate teaching. This is such a highly prized award because it is a result of student nomination and voting.

March, 2007

March Open House

An eager group of volunteers helped to show curious high school students about the wonders of Physics and Astronomy at the March Open House.

Volunteers were Justin Philippi, Karen Mann, Hayley Faulkner, Ryan de Boer, Marguerite Lee, and Amanda Papadimos

March, 2007

Dr. Carol Jones Dr. Silvia Mittler

Drs. Carol Jones (left) and Silvia Mittler (right) were among eight science and business faculty members who received Academic Enrichment Grants from Foundation Western.

March, 2007

Live webcam images of construction on the Materials Science Addition

Late February, 2007

Dr. Jaymie Matthews

Dr. Jaymie Matthews, with PhD in Astronomy from Western, and now professor of astronomy at the University of British Columbia has been named A Companion of the Order of Canada.

Jaymie studied the rapid oscillations of Ap stars and received his PhD in 1987 under the supervision of Dr. William H. Wehlau.

Jaymie is the principal investigator of Canada's first astronomical space telescope named 'M.O.S.T.'.

Jaymie has always been a popularizer of both astronomy and science in general.

February, 2007


Here are some recent images of the new Materials Science Addition. Click on an image to enlarge. Thanks to our own Peter Frank for the photos.

February, 2007

Drs. Paul Wiegert (left) and Blaine Chronik.

Laura Thompson (left) was among several Physics and Astronomy undergraduate volunteers who spent the day showing elementary school students several fun physics demonstrations.

This was part of the second annual Science Day, which was sponsored by WISDOM (Women in Science, Department of Mathematics). It took place at in the UCC atrium.

January, 2007

Girls in Science visit the Forest City Velodrome.

girls veloBob Schelstraete - Forest City Velodromegirls velo

Physics and Astronomy Prof. Patrick Whippey (in red) and Mechanical Engineering Prof. Ralph Buchal along with about 30 parents and students from the Canadian Association of Girls in Science visited the Forest City Velodrome to learn about the physics and mechanics of bicycles.

The event was organized by Western student Ranita Manocha.

Mr. Bob Schelstraete (centre image), co-founder and builder of the velodrome, along co-founder Mr. Rob Good, gave the group a tour of the velodrome, and spoke of the history and construction of the facility. The Velodrome is open to the public for recreational riding, racing, learn-to-ride programs, as well as having a very popular velo-kids program for ages 8-16 years.

January, 2007

We welcome two new faculty members to the department.

Els Peeters Jan Cami

Dr. Els Peeters (left) and Dr. Jan Cami (right) have spent the previous four years at the NASA Ames Research Center in California.

Els Peeters primary research interest is in observational infrared spectroscopy and images related to the unidentified IR bands and their relationship to Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. Els also has interest in circumstellar and interstellar dust, as well as star forming regions within and outside of our galaxy.

Jan Cami has interest in observational spectroscopy at all wavelengths with a special interest in astrophysical applications of molecular spectroscopy. Jan also works with analysis and modelling of dust in the infrared. He has an interest in interstellar and circumstellar matter, as well as having done work on the late stages of stellar evolution.

December, 2006

Stone Carvings on the Physics and Astronomy Building

A wonderful pictorial history of the stone carvings that adorn the Physics and Astronomy building has been compiled by Prof. Don Moorcroft.

December, 2006

Randy Kissack's P365 class

Dr. Randy Kissack brought out lots of chocolate for his last Physics 365 class of the term. He dedicated this lecture to his late parents Robert and Barbara Kissack.

Late November, 2006

Doctoral candidate student Chris Mokry has shown that you can combine a high level of academic accomplishment with high intensity varsity sports.

Chris led the Western Men's Volleyball team (not for the first time this season) with 12 points and 11 kills against Laurier on Nov. 19.

Late November, 2006

fall preview day 2006 fall preview day 2006 fall preview day 2006

Images of our hard working student volunteers and some visitors at this year's Fall Preview Day. Click on an image to enlarge it.

Late November, 2006


Here are some photos of the ground work that has begun for the new Materials Science Addition in which our first year laboratories will be located. Click on an image to enlarge. Thanks to Felix Lee of Chemistry for the photos.

November, 2006

group at velodromeforest city velodrome

Some faculty, staff, family, along with visiting professor Dr. Frank Mulligan of Maynooth University in Ireland challenged themselves to take the 'Learn to Ride' program at the Forest City Velodrome, one of only two indoor velodromes in Canada -
Click left image to enlarge.

November, 2006

soccer team 2006

It takes more than just mental toughness to survive as a physics student. The Physics and Astonomy soccer team has finished another outdoor season in one of the rainest autumns in memory.(click on the image to enlarge).

November, 2006

John DeBruyn observing Mercury TransitView of mercury transitPeter Brown observing Mercury transit

The Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory was open to the university community for viewing of a rare transit of planet Mercury across the face of the sun. Shown at left is Prof. J.R. deBruyn and on the far right is Prof. P. Brown.

In the photo in the centre you can barely make out the small dot that is Mercury's shadow. The large dark smudge at the top-right is a sun spot.

The next transit is in the year 2016.

November, 2006

Drs. Paul Wiegert (left) and Blaine Chronik.

Drs. Paul Wiegert (left) and Blaine Chronik are just two of 13 UWO researchers who were selected to receive the prestigious "Early Researcher Award" from The Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation.

These awards are for demonstrated excellence in scientific and academic contributions and for the importance of the proposed research area.

Dr. Chronik's proposed area of research is "Combined Magnetic Resonance and Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Systems".

Dr. Wiegert will be developing an "Automated Video Meteor Observing System" near London, Ontario. Over the long term, the station will provide extensive information on meteoroids that are near the Earth, and allow a better assessment of any threat they may pose to satellites and spacecraft.

October, 2006

Dr. Robert Sica and Dr. Stephen Argall will be using their expertise with LIDAR to help unravel the mystery of the chemistry of Dr. Bob Sica and PEARLthe arctic skies.

They will be on a team, along with members from 17 other institutions, which will be making use of the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL - shown on the left) at Eureka on Ellesmere Island to study ozone depletion, air quality, and climate change in the arctic.

This activity will all be part of Canada's contribution to the International Polar Year (2007-08).

September, 2006

Dr. Eduard Vorobyov

Prof. Shantanu Basu, postdoctoral fellow Dr. Eduard Vorobyov, and PhD student Wolfgang Dapp attended the international conference "The Early Phase of Star Formation", held at Ringberg Castle, Tegernsee, Germany from August 28 - September 1, 2006.

Prof. Basu presented a talk entitled "Magnetic Fields and Star Formation".

Wolfgang Dapp presented a poster entitled "Axisymmetric Simulations of Star Formation to Explain Features of IRAM 04191".

Dr. Vorobyov presented a poster entitled "The Burst Mode of Protostellar Accretion", and Dr. Vorobyov won the award for "best poster" at the conference and as a result also gave a talk on his work.