New Departmental Associate Chairs appointed

Three new Associate Chairs have been appointed, starting on 1 July 2014.

Professor \aaron Sigut

Aaron Sigut

Professor Aaron Sigut will be the new Associate Chair for Administration for a three year term.

Chair Shantanu Basu states, "

I am very pleased to announce that Prof. Aaron Sigut will be appointed as the new Associate Chair for Administration in the Department of Physics and Astronomy for a three year term beginning 1 July 2014.

This is a new leadership position in the Department and should greatly facilitate its operation. The large size of our Department requires a larger leadership team than we had in place previously. The Associate Chair Administration will play an important role in budgetary and space issues, be a communications liaison in the Department and with the Faculty of Science, as well as be the Chair of the Research & Awards Committee.

I look forward to work with Aaron in this new position as well as to form a new expanded leadership team of three Associate Chairs plus the Chair.

Aaron obtained his PhD in Astronomy at the University of Toronto and became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1999. He is an Associate Professor since 2006 and has served the Department in many capacities including as Associate Chair for Graduate Studies from 2007 to 2012. Aaron's research work is in computational astrophysics and employs radiative transfer applied to the study of circumstellar disks and stellar atmospheres.

Please join me in thanking Aaron for taking on this important service role for the Department!"


Professor Eugene Wong

Eugene Wong

Professor Eugene Wong becomes the Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, for a two year term.

Chair Basu communicates,

"I am very pleased to announce that Prof. Eugene Wong will be appointed as the new Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Physics and Astronomy for a two year term beginning 1 July 2014.

Eugene is passionate about building a positive environment for our undergraduate students and will undoubtedly bring in many new ideas to improve our educational experience. Welcome to this position Eugene!

Eugene obtained his PhD in Physics at the University of Pennsylvania, and subsequently became a medical physicist. He joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy as an Associate Professor in 2006. Eugene's research focuses on imaging for treatment planning and delivery of cancer radiotherapy as well as for treatment outcome assessments."


Professor Silvia Mittler

Silvia Mittler

Finally, as had been previously announced, Professor Silvia Mittler becomes the new Associate Chair for Graduate Studies for a three year term.

Chair Basu writes,

"I am very pleased to announce that Prof. Silvia Mittler will be appointed as the new Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the Department of Physics and Astronomy for a three year term beginning 1 July 2014.

Silvia brings in over a decade of service to this Department and much experience from a career that spans two continents. She will undoubtedly work for the upliftment of our programs, with valuable new insights and initiatives to move us forward. Welcome to this position Silvia!

I would also like to take this opportunity to collectively thank Prof. Bob Sica and Prof. Martin Houde for their work as Associate Chairs during the last two years. Martin has very ably managed the position for the last six months, to complete the term vacated by Bob due to his sabbatical. The last two years have seen many new initiatives and I am particularly pleased that we have developed the culture of regular advisory committee meetings.

A professional bio of Silvia follows:

Silvia Mittler received her Masters in Physics at the University of Mainz, followed by a PhD in Physics jointly from the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz and the University of Mainz. In 2000, she earned the Habilitation, the highest level academic qualification in Germany, in Physical Chemistry from the University of Mainz. She held postdoctoral fellowships at the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research, the University of Arizona, and the University of Central Florida. She was a Project Leader at the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research from 1992 till 2003. Silvia joined Western as a Full Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2003. Her research work focuses on the Photonics of Surfaces and Interfaces and on Materials Science more generally. She has a lifetime number of 30 MSc theses and 18 PhD theses either supervised or co-supervised."