In Memoriam – Robert Uffen

The University of Western Ontario mourns the loss of professor emeritus Robert Uffen, the first dean of Western’s new Faculty of Science in 1965, who died July 18 after a long battle with cancer.


Uffen (Toronto, BASc, 1949, MA, 1950; Western, PhD, 1952) came to the Department of Science in 1950, and like so many others at the time was hired as an instructor while also registered as a graduate student.


  Robert Uffen



Following his PhD in 1953, he rose rapidly within the university so that by 1959 he was professor and head of the newly-established Geophysics Department. In 1965 he was appointed dean of the Faculty of Science, and in 1966 left Western to become first Vice-Chairman and then Chairman of the Defence Research Board.


From 1969 to 1971 he was chief scientific advisor to the Cabinet, Privy Council Office, before heading to Queen’s University as dean of the Faculty of Applied Science.


Prior to entering university, Uffen served with the R.C.A. Infantry Corps (1941-42) and the Royal Canadian Artillery (1942-45) during  the Second World War.


His professional services have encompassed a broad range of duties, including serving with the National Research Council of Canada (1963-66); acting as member and chairman of the Defence Research Board of Canada (1967-69); appointment as vice-chairman of Ontario Hydro (1975-79), and member of the Fisheries Research Board.


He was also on the board of directors for the Centre for Resource Studies, and on the Central Committee of Oceans of England.


His many contributions to the academic world and to the field of geophysics have been recognized by his appointment to the Club of Rome, status as an Officer in the Order of Canada (1983) and nominations to Fellowships in the Geological Society of America and Association for the Advancement of Science.


A funeral service will be held at the James Reid Funeral Home at 1900 John Counter Boulevard, Kingston, Ont. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Extendicare in Kingston or to the Mary Ruth Uffen Bursary at Queen’s University.