We are saddened to hear of the recent passing of Australian physicist and AIP Fellow Professor Rodney (Rod) Jory AM. Prof Jory was the inaugural winner of AIP’s Award for Outstanding Service to Physics in Australia in 1996. He was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia the following year.
Prof Jory’s legacy in Australian physics includes establishing the National Science Summer School (renamed the National Youth Science Forum) in 1984 and being the director since its inception until 2005. He was also heavily involved in the teaching of Australian student teams that have competed at International Physics Olympiads.
AIP member Professor Tim Sneden (Director of ANU’s Research and Engineering) was among the 198 students who attended the first Summer School.
In his eulogy at Prof Jury’s funeral, Prof Sneden said: “Rod believed in empowering youth” and that “[Rod] worked tirelessly to evolve the program to reach as many young minds as he could”.
Ben Kremer, Chair of Australian Science Innovation (ASI), has also said on the ASI Twitter page: “I was fortunate enough to be taught by Rod in the Summer School in December 1989 and it was a formative event in my life. Rod’s passion, drive, hard work and selflessness will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”
Prof Jory completed his PhD studies on the drift velocities and diffusion coefficients of electrons in nitrogen, hydrogen and helium at the University of Adelaide and Australian National University (ANU).
He was supervised by Professor Leonard Huxley, who was the first president of the AIP when it was established in 1963.
He taught at ANU and the University of Canberra as well as several international universities including the University of British Columbia.
An obituary will be included in the upcoming Australian Physics magazine.