Although the Physics and Astronomy Department has never had a regular faculty
member working in medical physics, there has been a very long-standing association
between the Department and medical physicists working in local hospitals
and research institutes, dating back to 1957 when Dr. John MacDonald, Senior
Physicist (and later Chief Physicist) at the London Regional Cancer Centre
(LRCC) had an appointment in the Physics Department as Sessional Lecturer,
a position which continued until his retirement in 1985. Dr. MacDonald (and
later others) gave a senior undergraduate/graduate course in Radiological
Physics, and over the years many graduate students have obtained MSc and
PhD degrees in medical physics through the Physics Department. At present,
the Department has 10 Adjunct Professors in medical physics who supervise
graduate students in radiological physics (Dr. Jerry Battista, LRCC; Dr.
Peter Munro, LRCC; Dr. Jake Van Dyk, LRCC) and medical imaging (Dr. D. Drost,
Lawson Research Institute (LRI); Dr. Aaron Fenster, Robarts Research Institute
(RRI); Dr. Ravi Menon, RRI; Dr. Frank Prato, LRI; Dr. Brian Rutt, RRI; Dr.
Terry Thompson, LRI).
The Applied Mathematics Department at Western has several theoretical physicists
on its faculty. About a decade ago a Collaborative PhD Program in Theoretical
Physics was established which is jointly administered by the two departments
and allows students to register in either department, without regard to
the department of his/her supervisor. Through this program PhD students
in Physics and Astronomy have access to a regular theoretical physics seminar,
and to theoretical physics research in the Applied Mathematics Department
in both subatomic physics (Dr. Victor Elias, Dr. Gerry McKeon, and Dr. Roger
Migneron) and atomic physics (Dr. Trevor Luke).
A long-standing association with the Electrical Engineering Department began
with the creation of the Centre for Radio Science in 1967, and continues
to this day in Space and Atmospheric research (Dr. John MacDougall and Dr.
Alan Webster). The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Chemical Physics
was established in 1973 to encourage research in areas which bridge two
or more traditional disciplines, and includes over 30 members from the departments
of Applied Mathematics, Chemistry, Engineering, Earth Science, Physics and
Astronomy (10 members), and from the Robarts Research Institute.