University Research Professors
University Research Professor, a designation
above the rank of professor, is the most prestigious award the
university gives for research. The title goes to faculty who have demonstrated a
consistently high level of scholarship and whose research is of truly
international stature. The designation carries with it a $4,000 research grant
each year for five years and a reduced teaching schedule.
|Dr. Maynard Clouter
Imagine going to work every day charged with the
responsibility of thinking esoterically and then proving your results.
Dr. Maynard Clouter has been doing just that, and his 31-year
career was honoured this year with the designation of University Research Professor.
"Iím motivated by the basic scientific instinct, to find
things out," the professor said. "But being an experimentalist means Iím also
highly interested in instrumentation, which keeps me in contact with industry."
A native of Elliston, Trinity Bay, Dr. Clouter received his
masterís in science from MUN in 1962 and his PhD from the University of Toronto
in 1968, specializing in high-resolution measurements of laser light when scattered
from liquids and solids at low temperatures. Well known within the Physics
Department for his skill in the design of experimental apparatus and
instrumentation, the quality of the professorís work is also internationally
recognized, documented in 102 refereed journal articles and 31 supervised
In his studies, Dr. Clouter researched near-critical fluids,
using a then-novel method of spectroscopy to determine for the first time the
way in which local fluid density Ė essentially, distribution of cluster sizes Ė
changed when close to liquid-vapour critical point. Dr. Clouterís findings have
played an important, if unexpected role in a number of areas, not the least of
which has been NASAís research into the climate and surface conditions of the outer
However, unlike those who keep their cards close to their
chest, Dr. Clouter enjoys learning that other researchers are utilizing his
ideas and innovating from them.
Dr. Clouter says his designation as University Research
Professor is special because it recognizes sustained effort over time. The
professor plans to use the research funding prize money towards a number of
projects, and has no plans to retire anytime soon because he still enjoys his
"I think that as a university faculty member you have to do
both [teaching and research]; teaching consolidates your knowledge of the
subject, and research keeps you abreast of new developments which, in turn,
feed back into the teaching process."
|Dr. Danny Summers
This is the millennium of the magnetosphere," said Dr. Danny
Summers, a mathematician whose research interests are in plasma dynamics and
theoretical space physics.
The magnetosphere is important to every living creature on
Earth because it acts as a bubble or barrier that protects us from the solar
wind, a stream of ionized gas and magnetic fields that flow from the sun. The
existence of the solar wind was predicted in the late 1950s and confirmed by
space instruments in the 1960s.
"Although space science is old, space physics is really only
about 40 years old," said Dr. Summers, who does mathematical modelling in space physics. "Space weather is a
new kind of science that is getting peopleís attention because when the power
goes out, people want
to know why. Electrical conditions in the atmosphere are
controlled by the solar wind and intense activity on the sun, like solar
flares, reach the Earth a day or two later and calculations can be made about
For Dr. Summers, the joy of mathematics is applying it to
real situations. At one time his main interest was plasma motion in Jupiterís
magnetosphere, but recently he is more interested in research on the Earthís
magnetosphere and the behaviours of electrons in the planetís magnetic field.
Geomagnetic storms can produce highly energetic electrons lasting for several
days, constituting a potential danger to orbiting satellites, space stations
and astronauts as well as causing power outages.
Dr. Summers was educated at Queen Mary College, University
of London in the United Kingdom, where he received a bachelor of science(honours) degree in mathematics in 1967 and
a PhD degree in magnetohydrodymanics in 1970. He was appointed to the Department
of Mathematics and Statistics at Memorial in 1971 and promoted to professor in
1983. He carries the title University Research Professor for the period of 2000-2008.
Dr. Summers has published about 100 research papers and has
held many visiting positions including the University of California at Los
Angeles; Kyoto University, Japan; the Max-Planck-Institut fur Aeronomie, Germany;
and the National Centre for Atmospheric Research at Boulder, Colorado. He is a
member of the AmericanGeophysical
Union and a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications in the
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