Henry van Driel, a professor emeritus in the department of physics, has been awarded the prestigious 2021 Peter Kirkby Memorial Medal for Outstanding Service to Canadian Physics by the Canadian Association of Physicists (CAP) and the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists (COMP).
“It is a humbling honour to be recognized for efforts to serve the physics community in Canada and abroad,” says van Driel, who retired in 2014. “This award represents a truly welcome bright spot during this interminable pandemic.”
The two groups announced van Driel as the winner for “his outstanding service to the Canadian physics community over a period of more than forty-five years, which has included international efforts, great service to the CAP, work with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) on behalf of Canadian physics, and editorial service to distinguished journals in North America.”
At U of T, van Driel taught at U of T Mississauga and at the St. George campus, where he also served as chair of the department from 2000 to 2004. He helped 30 students earn their PhDs and, since retiring, has continued to support undergraduates by mentoring third- and fourth-year physics students.
“This is a well-deserved recognition of Henry's long and distinguished record of service to physics, both in Canada and internationally,” says department chair Kimberly Strong.
“His leadership of the physics department, multiple physics societies, advisory and editorial boards, and conference committees, as well as his mentoring of many students and postdoctoral fellows, has significantly strengthened physics in Canada."