Departmental Awards, Funding and Service Activities
Externally, department members have enjoyed considerable success in garnering research funding, and several have been active on provincial, national and international committees.
At a university which has consistently been nationally ranked in the top two among small undergraduate institutions for science research funding, up until spring 2009, the physics department was the only one in which every member eligible for NSERC funding was in fact NSERC funded. Since the hiring in 1982 of the first research active faculty, every tenure-track faculty member in physics had been able to win and retain NSERC funding, a record unmatched by any other science department in the university.
In the 5-year period (2005 – 2010), the total sponsored research revenue of the department amounted to $6,847,807, which includes funding from NSERC, CFI, CSA, and ASRA. During the same period, over 100 papers were published from the department, of which about a third had undergraduate student co-authors, reflecting the long-standing commitment by the department to involving students in research as early as possible.
Most department members have international collaborators, and the department plays an active national role via affiliations with the Perimeter Institute (Waterloo), the Canadian Light Source (Saskatoon), and ISIS (Calgary/Lethbridge), as well as via professional organizations such as the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy (ACURA).
Close ties exist with the National Research Council (NRC) in Ottawa: six department members (Ahmadi, Ali, Gumbs, Milton, Patitsas, and Siminovitch) were Research Associates at NRC prior to joining the department, while others (Ahmadi, Naylor, Predoi-Cross, and Siminovitch) have had collaborations with NRC scientists, or have spent sabbatical leaves at the Council. In 2006, the Canadian Remote Sensing Society's Gold Medal Award was given to Philippe Teillet.
Department members have been active in outreach activities, and in serving the physics community. Four members have served or are serving on NSERC peer review Committees: David Naylor on the Space & Astronomy Grant Selection Committee (GSC 17) (2001-2004), Mark Walton on the Physics Evaluation Group (2011-2014), David Siminovitch on the Molecular and Cell Biology Scholarships and Fellowships Committee (1999-2001), and Philippe Teillet on the Environmental Sciences Grant Selection Committee (GSC ) (1995-1998).
Many department members have served and continue to serve the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) in various capacities. Steve Patitsas and Adriana Predoi-Cross have served terms as CAP Councillor for the NWT and Alberta, Saurya Das and Arundhati Dasgupta have been speakers on the CAP lecture tour, while others have given invited talks at the CAP Congress (Adriana Predoi-Cross, Saurya Das, Steve Patitsas, David Siminovitch and Mark Walton).
Adriana Predoi-Cross will begin a three-year term as the Director of Communications, while Arundhati Dasgupta has been elected Chair of the Division of Theoretical Physics (2013-2015). Based on the response of a selected group of graduate students, the CAP Organizing Committee for the fall CAM2009 (2009 Canada-America-Mexico) graduate student conference initially proposed a list of 5 potential speakers from Canada.
In the end, Adriana and Alex Vitkin (Toronto) were the only two Canadian physicists invited to give talks at the conference. Adriana Predoi-Cross has been very active in promoting physics as a career for women, and she is currently Co-Chair of the CAP Committee to Encourage Women in Physics. She represented CAP at the 2nd IUPAP Conference on Women in Physics held in Rio de Janeiro (2005), and served as Canadian team leader at the 3rd IUPAP Conference on Women in Physics held in Seoul (2008).
Several members have served on the provincial Alberta Ingenuity Scholarships Committee: Adriana Predoi-Cross, David Siminovitch and Kenneth Vos. David Naylor has served on numerous national and international committees, including terms as the chair of the Joint Committee on Space Astronomy, and as Director of the board of the Canadian Astronomical Society.
Philippe Teillet has served on the Research Management Committee for Geomatics for Informed Decisions (GEOIDE), the Centre of Excellence Committee, Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) (1998-2001, 2003, 2006-Present), and as Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing (1989-1992).