Two Memorial University professors have been honoured by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) for their outstanding contributions to research and education.
Memorial’s Dr. Ian Jordaan and Dr. Danny Summers were recently named Fellows of the RSC’s Academy of Science in recognition of their distinguished work to date. Dr. Jordaan is a University Research Professor and a Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University, as well as being a Principal Consultant in Ice Engineering at C-CORE. Dr. Summers is a University Research Professor with Memorial’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics.
Dr. Jordaan is a pre-eminent engineer working on design of offshore structures in harsh environments. The author of more than 200 papers and reports, as well as a book on probabilistic analyses for engineering, Decisions Under Uncertainty, he has pioneered the risk-based approach to offshore engineering and estimation of structural loads caused by ice. He has also worked extensively on the mechanics of ice compressive failure, and has developed theories that explain the high local pressures experienced by ships and structures in ice.
He has consulted on major Canadian and international projects, including the Terra Nova, White Rose and Hebron developments and the Confederation Bridge.
“I’ve always been very focused on my work and take pride in what I do. It is very rewarding to look at something like the Confederation Bridge and know that I helped make it possible,” said Dr. Jordaan. “It is a great honour to have my work recognized in this way by my peers.”
Dr. Summers is also very pleased with being named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
An internationally recognized space physicist, Dr. Summers is best known for his research on ‘killer electrons’, energetic elementary particles produced during magnetic storms in the Earth’s atmosphere that have the power to shut down or critically damage satellites and spacecraft.
As lead investigator, he co-authored a paper describing a mechanism for creating these particles, which is widely cited as the leading candidate for explaining this phenomenon – considered a ‘holy grail’ of space physics.
Dr. Summers also co-invented a mathematical device used for analyzing plasma waves, which are ubiquitous in space. This device has wide applications in space, planetary and astrophysical plasmas, and is in popular use by scientists worldwide.
“I am fortunate to have been working in a field that has seen enormous interest in the last 10 or 15 years,” he explained. “Living in a satellite age as we do, we know that if all satellites suddenly shut down, life as we know it on Earth would end. Therefore, we have to understand how these particles are generated and how we can shield our satellites and spacecraft from them.”
The Royal Society of Canada is the senior national body of distinguished Canadian scholars, artists and scientists and is Canada’s national academy. The primary objective of the RSC is to promote learning and research in the arts and sciences.
The RSC comprises nearly 2,000 Fellows, men and women who are selected by their peers for outstanding contributions to the natural and social sciences, in the arts and in the humanities. As Canada’s national academy, the RSC exists to recognize academic excellence, to advise governments and organizations, and to promote Canadian culture.
Dr. Jordaan and Dr. Summers will be officially inducted in to the Royal Society of Canada at a ceremony in Ottawa in November. Dr. Jordaan will enter RSC’s Division of Applied Science and Engineering, while Dr. Summers will enter the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Division.