From UP Beat
Physics professor emeritus Paul E. Wack passed away in the morning on Tuesday, November 19, at the age of 94. He came to The Bluff in fall of 1949 and was one of the first faculty to move into the newly-completed Engineering building (now Donald E. Shiley Hall). His contemporaries included legendary campus physics teachers Br. Godfrey Vassallo, C.S.C., and Merle Starr, namesake of a small observatory which once was located behind the Bauccio Commons.
Paul retired officially in May of 1986, but continued to teach until 1999, making him the longest-serving active faculty member in University history at 50 years. His various duties included serving as chair of the Deparment of Physical and Life Sciences from 1966 to 1973; membership on the Academic Senate from 1978 to 1983, and chairing the Rank & Tenure Committee from 1977 to 1979. He won the Culligan Award, the University’s highest faculty honor, in 1961.
Services will take place at Holy Cross Catholic Church on Tuesday, November 26, at 11 a.m. Immediately following the service there will be a reception in the school hall. Paul is survived by his son Edwin Wack; daughters Mary Brandenburg and Ellen Wack; grandchildren Lauren Wack, Kelly, Kendall, and Bobby Brandenburg, and Paul Alan Wack; and his sister, Elizabeth Doyle (Aunt Liz). His wife of 56 years, Mary Ellen, passed away in 2009, as did his eldest son, Paul Wack Jr., in 2010. Through all of life’s trials Paul was unfailingly positive and upbeat, and a devout and humble member of the Catholic faith. Our prayers and condolences to his family and colleagues.
Shannon Mayer, Physics, and Rev.Thomas Hosinski, C.S.C., Theology, will discuss the possibilities surrounding the integration of science and faith with their presentation of “Science and Religion” on Wednesday, April 10, at 4 pm, in Buckley Center room 163.
Their talk, sponsored by the Garaventa Center, is free and open to all. Mayer will provide examples of how faith and science are integrated in the life of a professional scientist. Hosinski will reflect on how religion and science complement each other, so that together they give us a deeper understanding of reality.
The lecture will be preceded by a brief ceremony presenting the annual Garaventa High School essay contest awards, beginning at 4 pm. For more information contact the Garaventa Center at ext. 7702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Bob Butler for receiving the Oregon Academy of Science 2013 Outstanding Higher Education Teacher in Science and Mathematics! The award was presented on March 2, 2013.
The Oregon Academy of science promotes scientific research and education in Oregon. Divisions of the Academy represent all areas of the natural sciences and social sciences. The Academy encourages participation by research and applied scientists and educators from all fields. Discipline sections work to encourage the communication among Oregon scientists both private and public through the annual OAS meeting. The annual OAS meeting acknowledges contributions by outstanding university and K-12 educators demonstrating dedication to the advancement of science education. Additionally, each year the Academy acknowledges an Oregon scientist who has made outstanding contributions in their field.
Robert Butler joined the Department of Chemistry and Physics as Professor of Science in 2004. He earned a B.S. in Physics and Geology from Oregon State University in 1968. He completed his M.S. in 1970 and Ph.D. in 1972 in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University. From 1972 to 1974, he was a Research Associate in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Minnesota. From 1974 to 2004, he was with the Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Full Professor, and then University Distinguished Professor. Dr. Butler is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America. Professor Butler’s research projects on application of paleomagnetism to geochronologic and tectonic problems have involved fieldwork on six continents. Recent scholarly work has included (1) magnetostratigraphy of Cenozoic sedimentary sequences of Nepal, (2) paleomagnetic studies of Mesozoic and Cenozoic tectonics of western South America, (3) terrain motion and uplift history of the Canadian Cordillera and southeastern Alaska, (4) paleomagnetic studies of vertical axis rotations of the northern Tibetan Plateau and Tarim Basin, China, (5) enhancement of Earth science teaching through computer visualization of geological processes space and time, especially K-12 applications of GIS, (6) geochronology of hominid fossil and stone tool bearing deposits in Ethiopia, (7) field-based Earth Science teacher professional development. Dr. Butler teaches Earth System Science, Natural Hazards of the Pacific Northwest, and Introduction to Marine Science.
The Engineering + Science Fair will take place on Friday, February 22nd, 1:00pm-4:00pm in Shiley Hall.
The following companies are recruiting mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology students in addition to engineering students for internships and job opportunities at the fair:
Career Services is helping students to prepare for the event via their “How to Work a Job Fair” workshops. These will take place on Wednesday, February 20th and Thursday, February 21st at 1:00pm and 4:00pm. Students are encouraged to go learn some tips and tools for attending the career fair. All workshops are 30 minutes and conducted in the Career Services office, lower level of Orrico Hall.
In addition, Career Services is offering extended drop-in hours (10:00am-4:00pm) for resume review on Wednesday (2/20) and Thursday (2/21). No appointment is necessary and free resume paper is available.
Abraham Olson, physics major (class of 2007) had the opportunity this summer to participate in the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting in physics in Germany. He was one of 592 young scientists selected from around the world to spend a week in Lindau, Germany to meet with 27 physics Nobel Laureates.
Abe is currently a Ph.D. student in the physics department at Purdue University. He is also the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2009) and a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (2007).
On Nov. 17th, the University of Portland Physics Department hosted an undergraduate poster session for students doing research in atomic, molecular, and optical physics at universities in the Willamette Valley. Undergraduate student presenters attended from the University of Portland, Reed College, Lewis and Clark College, Willamette University, and Pacific University.
The poster session was part of an on-going effort by the Northwest Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics consortium (NWAMO) to strengthen undergraduate research in AMO physics in the Willamette Valley.
The University of Portland has announced a gift of $100,000 from the late William Isaac Phillips, a University alumnus who passed away in January, 2012. His gift will establish a scholarship fund in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Phillips was born in Bell, California and spent his childhood in southern California. After graduating from El Monte High School in 1943 he served in the U.S. Navy during the end of World War II. He attended the University of Portland on the G.I. bill and in 1950 graduated with honors with a degree in physics.
He began his career as a sales representative with C&H Supply Company in Seattle. In 1966, he established Western Technical Sales with a home office in Bellevue, Wash., and later opened offices in Portland and Spokane. He and his wife Marilyn lived in La Conner, Wash.
The gift is part of the University’s RISE Campaign, which was announced in December 2010 and seeks to raise $175 million over the next several years. The RISE Campaign, which has raised more than $138 million to date, is one of the largest development campaigns ever for a Pacific Northwest private college or university.
The campaign’s goals are divided into four major themes, each with funding targets: (1) Pursuing academic excellence and faculty funding — $70 million; (2) Providing access for all students and direct assistance — $45 million; (3) Developing faith and leadership – $10 million; and (4) Enriching the campus community and physical resources — $50 million.
Welcome! The University of Portland is consistently recognized as a university that provides an outstanding education, and in the Department of Physics, you will find students and professors who are excited about physics. We believe that the student-teacher relationship is a vital component of the academic experience.
Physics students at the University of Portland receive substantial individual attention from our faculty. Classes are small and students have the opportunity to participate in projects and faculty research. Currently, five faculty members teach in the Physics program. Each has a different specialty or interest, so you will experience a diversity of teachers in the program and a range of undergraduate research opportunities. Areas of faculty expertise include condensed matter, fluid dynamics, optics, ion beams, and nonlinear dynamics.
Additionally, there is a lot of opportunity for physics and friendship outside of the classroom and lab. The Physics Club regularly sponsors events for students ranging from colloquia to science demos to picnics and movies!
The Department of Physics has programs leading to the Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Arts degrees. We offer students an excellent preparation for graduate work or for immediate entrance into scientific careers. We have recent graduates who are pursuing advanced degrees in physics at Purdue, Vanderbilt, the universities of Colorado-Boulder, California-Riverside, and Florida-Gainesville, to name a few. Other graduates have moved into careers with, for example, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and the United States Air Force.
The breadth of programs available at the University of Portland will enhance your education as a physics student. Many of our students complete a minor in mathematics or computer science while pursuing their physics major. In addition, our School of Engineering provides you the opportunity for advanced study in electronics, material science, and computers.
We invite you to explore our web pages, and to contact us if we can answer any further questions for you.
Chair, Department of Physics