The William H. Wehlau Award

Awarded annually to a student in the Master's or Doctoral program in Astronomy. The award is based on a variety of criteria, and no minimum academic mark is required. The recipient will be selected by a committee of the Department of Physics & Astronomy. 

The current value of this award is $2,300 (CDN).

[Past Winners of this award].

William H. Wehlau

(1926 - 1995)

Professor Emeritus William H. Wehlau of the Department of Astronomy (now The Department of Physics and Astronomy) died unexpectedly on February 24, 1995 in Cape Town, South Africa, where he was attending a meeting on Astronomical Applications of Stellar Pulsations with his wife Amelia. While there, he suffered a stroke and went into a coma from which he never recovered.

Professor Wehlau studied at the University of California at Berkeley, where he was awarded a Ph. D. in 1953. After two years at Case Institute of Technology, he came to Western as an NRC Postdoctoral Fellow. He became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Astronomy in 1957. In 1959 he was promoted to Associate Professor, and in 1961 to Professor. He started Western's present Department of Astronomy in 1966, and served as Department Head until his retirement in 1991. He was responsible for expanding the Department to its present size, and obtained the funding support for the Elginfield Observatory with its 1.2-m telescope.

He was always active in research, both as an observer and as an organizer of collaborative projects, and was author or co-author of more than 50 journal papers during his career. He was a regular visitor to the 3.6-m Canada-France-Ha waii Telescope, and was in fact scheduled to observe in March 1995.

Professor Wehlau gave a great deal of his time and energy to service of the Canadian astronomical community. He was a member and Chairman of the NRC Grant Selection Committee for Space and Astronomy from 1969 to 1971.

He was a member of the NRC Associate Committee on Astronomy from 1960 to 1982, and its Chairman during 1979-82. He was closely involved in developing the collaboration with France that eventually led to the building of the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope; he was a member of the Scientific Advisory Council from 1974 to 1979, and its Chairman in 1978-79, and then served during 1980-85 on the Board of Directors, of which he was President in 1984 and 1985.

Most recently, he was Chair of the Gemini - Twin 8 Meter Telescope Review Committee for NSERC and NRC, and Chair of the Canadian Astronomical Society Awards Committee.

He is survived by his wife Amelia and their four children, Ruth, Jeanne, Alice, and David, and by two grandchildren .

Memorial Award Fund

The Department of Physics and Astronomy is presently accepting contributions to this fund.
Kindly send contributions to the following address:

The Department of Physics and Astronomy,
Western University,
London, Ontario, Canada
N6A 3K7
(519) 661-3183