John A. Weil

Distinguished Researcher Award - Spring 1996

Dr. John A. Weil holds a MSc (1950) and PhD (1955) from the University of Chicago. Professor Weil joined the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan in 1971.

Dr. Weil had research appointments at the Fermi Institute of Nuclear Studies and the Institute for the Study of Metals, and there contributed to pioneering studies of the effect of high pressure on atomic self-diffusion in alkali metals. On his graduation from Chicago, he was Corning Glass Postdoctoral Fellow and served on the Princeton University faculty, whereafter in 1959 he joined the research staff of the Argonne National Laboratory (USA). He was a Fulbright Visiting Lecturer in New Zealand during 1967-68. At these centres he developed ongoing research interests in dioxygen carriers and a variety of free-radical systems, and initiated long-term studies of magnetic species in silicates.

Since coming to the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Weils' research efforts have centered on the defect structure of crystalline quartz, and also featured various organic free-radical systems and sophisticated theoretical studies. One publication was chosen by the American Physical Society to be included in the list of Most Memorable Papers (1934-1990) in the American Journal of Physics. Known for his work on Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy, Dr. Well has pioneered the understanding of the structures of paramagnetic defects in crystalline quartz. Quartz is a key material in the electronic, optics and glass industries. He has contributed extensively to the understanding of the chemistry of organic free-radical systems; his research group's continuing studies of chemical reactions and crystal structures of the nitroaromatic hydrazyl/hydrazine system may have environmental uses. Dr. Weil's experimental thoroughness and comprehensive treatment of data are well-known and he is sought as a collaborative by colleagues in England, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the USA.

Dr. Weil has developed an EPR centre at the University of Saskatchewan, and has supervised 20 PhD and MSc students. His research contributions include nearly 150 refereed papers published in leading scientific journals, and he co-authored two books, including a major introductory text in the field of EPR.

In recognition of his creative and pioneering work in the field of electron paramagnetic resonance, Dr. Weil has been honoured as the Erkine Lecturer at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (1987), was elected Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Chemistry (1980). In 1994, he held a Royal Society Visiting Fellowship at Oxford University. He was appointed Thorvaldson Professor for 1983-1988 at our University. His earned D.Sc. (1985) from the University demonstrates the breadth of his achievement as an experimental and theoretical chemical physicist.