Canadian Association of Physicists ASSOCIATION CANADIENNE DES



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"I am absolutely delighted to be the recipient of this year's CAP Medal. I have long regarded this award as being the ultimate recognition of one's work within the Canadian Physics community and so I feel particularly honoured to be associated with it."

Dr. J.W. (Bill) McConkeyOttawa, April 15th, 1999 - The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) is pleased to announce that its premier medal, the 1999 CAP Medal of Achievement in Physics, will be awarded to Dr. J.W. (Bill) McConkey, Professor at the University of Windsor, for a sustained career of innovative techniques for the detection and measurement of atomic and molecular scattering processes, including angular correlation studies and resonance phenomena, and the application of these techniques to a wide range of processes of key importance to our understanding of reactions occurring in the earth's atmosphere (such as the aurora) and in astrophysical sources.

Dr. McConkey's research interests have covered a wide range of topics involving the collisions of electrons with atoms and molecules. He has been a major player in the establishment of the current data bank of absolute electron-impact cross-sections, which have provided vital underpinning to a number of fields and technologies such as atmospheric and planetary physics, astrophysics, and low temperature plasma physics. Data from his laboratory on impact excitation, ionization, molecular and cluster dissociation and elastic and inelastic electron scattering are widely regarded as standards in the field.

Dr. McConkey was born in Northern Ireland and received his B.Sc. (1958) and Ph.D. (1962) degrees from Queen's University, Belfast. He spent a year working with Professor Louie Herman in Paris and then returned to a faculty position at Queen's where he built up a strong research group in optical spectroscopy and in experimental electron scattering. In 1970 he moved his group to Canada when he was appointed a Full Professor of Physics at the University of Windsor. He helped develop Windsor as one of the leading centres of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics in Canada and his own Laboratory gained world-wide recognition as a leader among Electron-Collision facilities in North America.

Dr. McConkey has been the recipient of numerous prestigious fellowships and awards which have enabled him to work for extended periods with colleagues at the California Institute of Technology, and the Universities of Manchester and Edinburgh. He is a Fellow of the British Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society and the Royal Society of Canada. He was a Canada Council Killam Fellow from 1986 to 1988.

The CAP Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics was introduced in 1956 and is awarded annually. The 1999 Medal will be presented to Dr. McConkey during the CAP's awards banquet to be held at the University of New Brunswick on June 8th, 1999.

The Canadian Association of Physicists was founded in 1945 and represents over 1600 individual physicists and physics students as well as Corporate and Departmental Members. In addition to its learned-society activities, the CAP is active in the areas of professionalism, science policy and the promotion of scientific research and education.

For more information, please contact:
Canadian Association of Physicists
Tel: (613) 562-5614
Fax: (613) 562-5615