Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Prof. Evans

Remembering Emeritus Professor Hugh Carlyle Evans

Hugh Evans, Emeritus Professor of Physics, passed away peacefully in his sleep on September 12th, 2018.

Hugh first came to Queen's as an undergraduate in 1950, completing a BSc in Engineering Physics in 1955 and an MSc in Nuclear Physics in 1957. After a sojourn at the University of Glasgow where he earned a PhD in Particle Physics he returned to Queen's as a lecturer in 1961. Apart from Sabbatical Leaves at the University of Oxford, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Australian National University and the California Institute of Technology, he spent the rest of his career at Queen's and retired to a very active Professor Emeritus position in 1997.

Hugh taught a range of courses from first year physics to graduate Nuclear Physics courses. His teaching was marked by rigor and completeness and the students acclaimed his efforts with the award of a Golden Apple in 1975. He was the Adviser to Engineering Physics students for ten years and his guidance was much appreciated by over 300 Engineering Physics students. He was an active participant in committee work in both the Faculty of Applied Science and the Faculty of Arts and Science and a director of The Queen's University Engineering Society of Queen's University from 1989 to 1993.

At the time of Hugh's return to Queen's there were great changes afoot: Stirling Hall was under construction and the move of the Physics Department from Ontario Hall happened in 1964. At the same time the Electron Synchrotron was retired and a new Van de Graaff accelerator installed in Stirling Hall for nuclear physics research. As well as initiating a program of research at Chalk river Nuclear Laboratories, Hugh participated in the commissioning of the new Queen's accelerator. Hugh was director of the Queen's Nuclear Structure Laboratory from 1974 to 1977 and again from 1993 to 1995 when the Van de Graaff was moved to Notre Dame University and the Nuclear Group and Queen's turned its full attention to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO). 

On Sabbatical Leave, he was a valued investigator at world class laboratories and returned refreshed and brimming with ideas for innovative experiments at Queen's and Chalk River. Although nearing retirement Hugh was an important member of the SNO collaboration an it was here that the engineering component of his education came to the fore. Although a participant in the testing and assessment of materials for detector his essential contribution was his liaison with the INCO and MONENCO engineers to help them understand the special design requirements for the detector in the mine environment. He formally retired in 1997 but continued his active participations in the SNO project for a further decade.

Hugh was the contributor to over 70 substantial papers in Sub-atomic Physics and the supervisor of 11 graduate students. He shared the 2006 NSERC John C. Polanyi Award and the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics with SNO collaboration members.

Hugh will be sadly missed by his friends and colleagues for his level headed advice, his dry humour and his incisive comments on the human condition.