I was born in England and received most of my formal university education there during the 1960s and 1970s. First I was an undergraduate at Cambridge University, obtaining a B.A. Honors degree in Mathematics and Physics. Then for my doctoral work I transferred to Oxford University, where I carried out research into quantum field theoretical methods in magnetism under the supervision of Dr. Robin Stinchcombe at the Department of Theoretical Physics, leading to a D.Phil. degree. I also subsequently obtained a M.A. degree from Cambridge University.
After obtaining my doctorate, I worked for a year at the Plessey Research Laboratories, a large UK-based electronics company. There I carried out research into the operation of novel semiconductor devices, particularly avalanche diodes. I then took up a faculty appointment as the equivalent of Assistant/Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Essex. I remained there until 1987, apart from periods of sabbatical leave and the award of a one-year Nuffield Foundation Fellowship. The sabbatical leaves were spent at RCA Research Laboratories in Switzerland, at the University of Münster in Germany, and at the Jülich Research Center (KFA) in Germany. The Nuffield Fellowship was spent in part at the National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa. During this time my main research was concerned with the magnetic and optical properties of solids, while I also acted as a consultant on semiconductor devices to the UK Ministry of Defence and to Plessey Research Laboratories.
In 1987 I moved to Canada to take up my appointment at the University of Western Ontario where I am now a Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. My research interests continue to be mainly in the area of optical, magnetic, and electronic properties of solids, but the focus is increasingly on nanostructured materials, surfaces and interfaces (including some biological systems), and on the nonlinear behavior of these systems. Descriptions of my research and publications are given in other sections.
Soon after arriving at Western I was involved in setting up the Collaborative Ph.D. Program in Theoretical Physics and I served as its first Director in 1990-92. Then in 1994-5 I was Acting Chair of the (former) Department of Physics. Subsequently I completed a five-year term as the Chair of the new combined Department of Physics & Astronomy from 1998-2003. During this time we introduced new undergraduate degree programs in materials science and medical physics. During 2004 I was involved in establishing the Western Institute for Nanomaterials Science (WINS) and I served as its Director until 2006. I was also Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Science from 2004 to 2006, with responsibilities mainly for graduate and international research. Subsequently I was the Associate Dean, Research, in the Faculty of Science at Western from 2006 to 2010.
On the personal side, I am married to Sandra Fox and we live in London, Ontario. Sandra is a graduate of King’s University College (at the University of Western Ontario) and of Wilfrid Laurier University. I have two sons, Duncan and Magnus, and two stepsons, Paul and Denny. My recreational activities include reading traveling, golf, curling and skiing.
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