March 20, 1997
Vol. 16, No. 13

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    Nagel new Master of Physical Sciences Collegiate Division

    Also appointed Associate Dean of PSD, College Sidney Nagel, Professor in Physics, has been appointed Master of the Physical Sciences Collegiate Division and Associate Dean of the Physical Sciences Division and the College, effective July 1.

    "We are very gratified by Mr. Nagel's willingness to take on the responsibilities of these offices, and we look forward to close collaboration with him in the coming years," said John Boyer, Dean of the College.

    Nagel takes over the reins from Peter Vandervoort, Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics, who has been Master and Associate Dean since 1991.

    "I wish to offer the faculty's strongest thanks to Peter Vandervoort for the energy, the intelligence and the extraordinary dedication that he has brought to these roles over the past six years," Boyer said. "Peter has made a powerful contribution to the effective governance of the Division and of the College, and he leaves office with deepest gratitude from me and from David Oxtoby [Dean of the Physical Sciences Division] for a job very well done indeed."

    A University faculty member since 1976, Nagel won the Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching last spring. "What I like most about teaching," he said at that time, "is seeing a student struggle with an idea and then get it, and see the pleasure in the understanding."

    Nagel was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow from 1979 to 1981, and is a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received his B.A. in physics from Columbia University in 1969, and his M.A., in 1971, and Ph.D., in 1974, from Princeton. He was a research associate at Brown for two years before coming to Chicago.

    Director of the University's Materials Research Laboratory from 1987 to 1991, Nagel actively pursues research in three areas of materials science: granular materials, liquid-solid phase transitions and hydrodynamics (the behavior of water drops). "In general, it's all about pattern formation," he said.

    Also an accomplished photographer, Nagel won an American Physical Society award in 1994 for photographs he took to study the physical properties of water droplets.