Honorary Degrees

N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may be available at the University Archives.

Name: Dennis Skopik, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Convocation date: June 2, 2010
Discipline / contribution: nuclear physics ; university administration
Citation / biographical information:
As a professor and scientist at the University of Saskatchewan, and now at the Jefferson National Laboratory in Newport News, Virginia, Professor Skopik has made major contributions to the science of nuclear physics. Of particular significance and impact to the University, city, province and nation, Dr. Skopik also led the team that established the Canadian Light Source synchrotron at the University of Saskatchewan.

Dennis Skopik earned his B.Sc. at Defiance College (Physics and Mathematics), a M.Sc. from the College of William and Mary, and his Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from the American University.

Dr. Skopik came to the University of Saskatchewan in 1970 to work with Dr. Leon Katz at the Saskatchewan Accelerator Laboratory. He was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and promoted through the professorial ranks to become a full professor in 1979 when only 37 years old. He later became the Director of the Saskatchewan Accelerator Laboratory (SAL) and served in that capacity until 1999.

Through Professor Skopik's leadership, staff at the Saskatchewan Accelerator Laboratory provided the initial design for a Canadian synchrotron facility. Based on this design the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC) conducted a national competition to determine the optimal site for such a facility. Dennis then directed the University of Saskatchewan team that prepared an application. Throughout this competition, and subsequent to the award of the synchrotron project to the University of Saskatchewan, Dennis Skopik provided the leadership which resulted in the recruitment of federal, provincial, municipal and private sector funding in a partnership hitherto unknown in the scientific world and culminating in a decision by provincial and federal authorities to proceed with constructing the Canadian Light Source.

Dennis has been a supervisor and mentor to 12 graduate students, several who went on to doctoral or post-doctoral work at MIT. His peers elected him as a Fellow of the American Physics Society in recognition of his contributions to nuclear physics. He has served as a member of numerous committees, societies and Boards, including: Chairman, Division of Nuclear Physics, Canadian Association of Physicists; Executive Committee Member, Canadian Institute for Nuclear Physics; Member of the Program Advisory Committee for MIT's Bates Linear Accelerator Center; and Member of the Nuclear Physics Review Panel for the Department of Energy, Washington, D.C. His advice is widely sought by numerous physics laboratories and organizations throughout the world.

Dr. Skopik is currently the Deputy Associate Director for the Physics Division at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator facility in Newport News, Virginia.

Degree received: Doctor of Science
Degree presented by: Richard Florizone, Vice-President Finance & Resources

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