2019 Department News




Jules PierreJean Carbotte died April 5 at age 81 of complications of cancer.

Jules was born in Long Beach California, March 26, 1938 while his parents, Leon and Pauline Carbotte were on an extended winter vacation from their home in Frye, Saskatchewan. Jules was raised in the French Canadian community in Manitoba and had a classical secondary education from the Jesuits at College St Boniface. He met his wife Ramona, a bright and beautiful young woman from the farming community of Treherne Manitoba, in a first year summer school class in physics while they were both beginning their undergraduate degrees at the University of Manitoba. They married in 1959 and shared 59 years together.

Jules went on to complete a MSc and PhD in Theoretical Physics at McGill University, graduating in 1964 at the age of 26. He joined the McMaster University faculty in 1965, took a position at McGill University from 1967-1968, returning to McMaster in 1968 where he stayed for the rest of his career. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and awarded the CAP Herzberg Medal for Achievement in Physics in 1974, and the Steacie Prize in 1975. In 1996, he was named University Professor at McMaster and was later awarded four Honorary Degrees, from Waterloo University, the University of Manitoba, Sherbrook University and McMaster University.

Over his 55 year career, Jules worked broadly in the field of condensed matter physics with his most recent work in high-temperature superconductivity, graphene, and topological materials. Jules was a wonderfully gregarious and generous man, infinitely curious and with a deep passion for the mysteries of our world as revealed through science. Jules is survived by his wife Ramona (née DePauw), daughters Sr. Christine CSJ and Suzanne, son-in-law Bob Blaisdell, grand-children Max and Odette, his siblings Dom Marcel OCSO, Paul (Adeline), and Anne-Marie (Bernie). He is pre-deceased by his brother Roger (Florence). As per Jules' wishes there will no funeral service. His remains have been cremated and memorials will happen at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jules' name to the Juravinski Cancer Centre https://hamiltonhealth.ca/ Condolences, memories and photos may be left at www.circleoflifecbc.com

The sound of science: Astronomy and Music come together for special presentation of The Planets


Using stunning images and video taken by NASA spacecraft, Laura Parker and Ralph Pudritz, both of McMaster’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, are teaming up with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra’s composer-in-residence Abigail Richardson-Shulte for a special talk that will not only feature Holst’s orchestral suite, The Planets, but will also explore the scientific discoveries that are shedding new light on the planets in our solar system. Read more here.


The Department of Physics & Astronomy at McMaster University invites applications for a teaching-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor with expertise in medical and biological physics, with an anticipated start of July 1, 2019.

Candidates must have completed a PhD in Physics or a related discipline by the start date of the appointment, and must have a demonstrated record of excellence in teaching at the undergraduate level. An interest in pedagogy research and innovation in teaching and learning would be an asset.

The Department of Physics & Astronomy presently consists of 25 faculty and around 80 graduate students, with strengths in astrophysics, biophysics, medical physics and condensed-matter physics. More information about the department can be found at: www.physics.mcmaster.ca/.

McMaster University is a globally renowned institution of higher learning and a research community committed to advancing human and societal health and well-being. Our focus on collaboratively exchanging ideas and approaches makes us uniquely positioned to pioneer groundbreaking solutions to real-world problems leading to a Brighter World. The Faculty of Science works to create global impact by advancing scientific discovery and knowledge, and promoting greater understanding. Our innovative, interdisciplinary approach generates new methods and insights, results, and lasting change.

McMaster University is located on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations and, within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum agreement. In keeping with its Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose, McMaster University strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration and diversity, and has a strong commitment to employment equity among faculty and staff that reflects the diversity of our student body. The successful candidate will be committed to inclusion and excellence and the Department is especially interested in candidates who can contribute, through their teaching and/or service, to the diversity of the academic community. Women, persons with disabilities, First Nations, Metis and Inuit persons, members of racialized communities and LGBTQ-identified persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

Faculty members at McMaster University enjoy numerous personal and professional benefits. University employees are offered an excellent benefits package that includes, but is not limited to, extended health care benefits, dental care, group life, long term disability, worldwide travel assistance, and a retirement plan. Progressive policies are in place to assist faculty members who become parents or who need to care for family members. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Complete applications must be made online at www.workingatmcmaster.ca/careers (Faculty Positions, Job 24977) to the attention of: Dr. Graeme Luke, Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1. Applicants and their referees should be aware that applications may be reviewed by faculty members across the Department of Physics & Astronomy, in addition to the faculty members on the Department search committee.

A complete application consists of: a cover letter (including a statement regarding whether the applicant has Canadian citizenship / permanent resident status), a current Curriculum Vitae (including a list of publications), a statement of teaching interests and experience (including teaching outlines and evaluations if available), a statement of their experience in and plans for advancing equity, diversity and inclusion in post-secondary education, community-based or other professional settings, and three letters of reference which should be sent directly by your referees to Dr. Graeme Luke, Chair, Department of Physics & Astronomy, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1. Reference letters can be emailed to luke@mcmaster.ca.

The application deadline is April 15th, after which review of complete applications will begin. However, applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. To comply with the Government of Canada’s reporting requirements, the University is obliged to gather information about applicants’ status as either Permanent Residents of Canada or Canadian citizens. Applicants need not identify their country of origin or current citizenship; however, all applications, as stated above, MUST include one of the following statements in their application package. Applications that do not include this information will be deemed incomplete.

Yes, I am a citizen or permanent resident of Canada
No, I am not a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Job applicants requiring accommodation to participate in the hiring process should contact the Human Resources Service Centre at 905-525-9140 ext. 222-HR (22247) to communicate accommodation needs.

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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Physics & Astronomy