Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Prof. Martin Duncan's Retirement

January 5, 2018

  • Group photo with Prof. Duncan, Dr. Levison, Martha Hill Duncan and Claire Duncan

    Congratulations on your retirement Prof. Duncan!
    From left to right: Prof. Duncan, Prof. Levison, wife Martha Hill Duncan, and daughter Claire Duncan at the Faculty Club retirement luncheon. 

  • Prof. Irwin presenting a gift to Prof. Duncan on his retirement luncheon.

    Prof. Irwin presenting Prof. Duncan with the gift of a photo of the asteroid named after him. 

  • Prof. Duncan with a picture of martinduncan asteroid

    Prof. Duncan with the picture of the asteroid named after him. The asteroid was observed and reduced by Prof. Irwin using a telescope in Australia.

  • The four speakers at Prof. Duncan's retirement luncheon

    The four speakers at Prof. Duncan's retirement luncheon. From left to right: Prof. Hanes (MC of the event), Brian (brother-in-law), Prof. Irwin (colleague) and Prof. Dignam (Department Head).

  • Prof. Duncan presenting a humorous speech at his retirement

    Prof. Duncan gets the last word in an amusing and engaging speech.

  • Prof. Chen, Prof. Wright and Prof. Emeritus Robertson

    Prof. Chen, Prof. Wright and Prof. Emeritus Robertson as the party wraps up.

Professor Martin Duncan retired from the Department in December 2017 and a party was held at the University in celebration of his long and distinguished career at Queen's. Dr. Duncan received his PhD in Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin in 1980. From 1979 to 1982 he was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University. He returned to the University of Toronto as an Assistant Professor from 1982 to 1987 and spent a year at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1987-1988 as an Assistant Professor. He arrived at Queen’s University as an Associate Professor in 1988, was promoted to Professor in 1993 and retired in December 2017.

Dr. Duncan is internationally recognized for his research in the formation and chaotic dynamical evolution of planetary systems. He has co-authored roughly 80 refereed publications and has given 100 invited international colloquia and review talks on his research. In recognition of his contributions to solar system dynamics, Asteroid 6115 was named ‘martinduncan’ by the International Astronomical Union in 1996. Dr. Duncan was also one of two recipients of the 2009 Queen’s University Prize for Excellence in Research. He has been an invited visiting researcher at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara (twice) and at the Isaac Newton Institute at Cambridge University, and has been a consultant on numerous NASA research grants to the SouthWest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

Dr. Duncan was an excellent instructor with a deep commitment to teaching and undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral research supervision. He served the University administratively as the Head of Physics (1998-2001) and as Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Arts and Science from 2001 to 2006.

Martin's colleagues, friends and family were at the celebration lunch, where Prof. Dave Hanes was the M.C. Thank you Martin for all you have done for the Department, the University and all of the Queen's students you have taught over the past 30 years!