2021 Medal Winners | francais

The 2021 CAP-COMP Peter Kirkby Memorial Medal for Outstanding Service to Canadian Physics

is awarded to

Henry M. Van Driel

"It is indeed an honour to be recognized for efforts to help the physics community in Canada. This represents a welcome bright spot this late in my career and and coming during this interminable pandemic. I thank my chair, Kimberley Strong, and John Sipe for initiating and preparing the nomination." winner citation

The Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP) are pleased to announce that the 2021 CAP-COMP Peter Kirkby Memorial Medal for Outstanding Service to Canadian Physics is awarded to Henry M. Van Driel, University of Toronto, to recognize his outstanding service to the Canadian physics community over a period of more than forty-five years, which has included international efforts, great service to the CAP, work with NSERC on behalf of Canadian physics, and editorial service to distinguished journals in North America. announcement

Because of Professor van Driel’s efforts, Canada punches far “above its weight” within the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP), where he served from 1993 to 2002, and was vice-chair for three years. As Chair of Canadian National-IUPAP Liaison Committee, he helped elect as many as nine Canadian scientists serving on seventeen commissions, an outsized contribution for Canada. On the Canadian scene, following a serious funding reduction in 1994 for general and condensed matter physics he played a central role restoring the funding, and in establishing a CAP-NSERC liaison committee to strengthen CAP input into NSERC decisions. After the removal of the exemption of natural scientists from the professional engineering act of Ontario, as president of the CAP he recruited representatives of eight natural science societies to work with Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) to enhance natural scientists’ opportunities in industry. Earlier, while on the CAP Executive, he played a crucial role in changing CAP procedures to bolster its finances, and through his fund-raising efforts the first graduate scholarship for the CAP was established, which led to the establishment of the CAP Foundation and the endowment of further graduate scholarships.

The central role Professor van Driel has played across such a wide range of activities of importance to the physics community, over a period of time when he also supervised 30 PhD students, as well as chairing his Department from 2000-2004, exemplifies the ideals of service. nominator citation

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