Bob Cheary (1947-2002)
As Head of Dept of Applied Physics in 1991 Bob led a revitalization of the Physics Laboratory Teaching Program, based on his industrial experiences and commitment to the value of practical hands-on training for students. With his enthusiasm for the applicability of physics to all areas of modern living Bob had valuable associations with colleagues in engineering, and the biological sciences. He worked with the Mechanical Engineering staff to prepare a hands-on based course in Electrical Machinery and with Electrical Engineering staff to develop student-orientated ways of teaching electronics. He disdained honors, but when the department nominated him for the Inaugural Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, past students and associates persuaded him to reluctantly accept it.
As a research supervisor, Bob had a zest for new projects and the ability to secure support and external collaborators for projects. He was an active member of AXAA, the Australian X-Ray Analytical Assn, editor of the AXAA journal (1982-1985) and National President (1996-1998). He was active at international conferences and his Research Workshops at the Denver, Colorado, X-Ray Analysis Conferences, were highly acclaimed. He published papers on x-ray powder diffraction, x-ray instrumentation, analytic techniques, neutron diffraction, radioactive waste disposal, electrical and magnetic properties of materials and the analysis of defects, strain and phase transitions in materials.
Bob was a Visiting Fellow at universities in England, the Inst. Laue-Langevin, the European Synchrotron Research Facility, Grenoble, France, the Nat’l Inst. of Standards & Technology, Gaithersburg, USA, and the Daresbury Synchrotron Lab, UK, where he introduced his Ph.D. students to the joy of long hours of measurement at great facilities.