[photo]Ronald Snelgrove
B.Sc. (Honours) 1991

As is the case with many other students, I was faced with the decision as to what I would do after high school. "Should I go directly to university or work full-time to help pay for my post-secondary education?" I decided to postpone my education and enter the workforce. After a year in the working world, though, the time seemed right for me to continue my education. The question then was: "Where should I enrol?" The decision as to which one of the many fine universities in Ontario to attend was not an easy one to make, but after carefully considering where I wanted to live and what size school I wanted to attend, I chose Brock University. The most important factor for me was the size of Brock. As universities go, it is relatively small, an attribute that I found appealing.

I always had a keen interest in mathematics and science, so in September 1986 I started at Brock majoring in mathematics. As part of the first-year math program, Physics 190 was a recommended course, so I signed up for it. Of all my courses that year, I enjoyed this one the most. Like mathematics, it appealed to my analytical side, but was more practical in nature, so, in second year, I decided to change my major to physics.

Changing majors often requires one to play a bit of "catch up" so I picked up the courses that I should have taken in first year. Over the next four years (playing "catch up" often requires one to stay in school a bit longer so you might say that my four-year degree was completed on the "unofficial" five-year plan :-) I took physics courses covering a variety of subjects including mechanics, electronics, optics, quantum mechanics, and solid state physics, among other topics.

The (official) fourth year of the program involves a research project carried out under the supervision of a faculty member. I chose to work with the now retired Dr. Frans Koffyberg. We studied the synthesis and opto-electronic properties of LiCoO2 and Cu2O, but, as often occurs in science, not much went right in my experiments. It was a valuable learning experience though. Sometimes you learn more when things don't work than when they do.

Shortly after I graduated in June 1991, a lab demonstrator position came open in the Physics Department at Brock. I applied and received the job. The main focus of this position was supervising laboratories for students taking first-year level physics courses. In this position I saw students from many different disciplines, ranging from physics to psychology. Interaction with the students was very rewarding, especially when I was able to help students understand something with which they were having difficulty in lectures or labs. Of course, no discussion of the year 1991 would be complete, however, without mention of my marriage to my long-time fiancée, Debbie.

I worked in the Physics Department at Brock for nine years, leaving in September 2000 to take a position as a "Test Engineer" at JDS Uniphase Corporation in Nepean (Ottawa), Ontario. JDS Uniphase designs, manufactures, and distributes a wide variety of passive and active components for fiber optic computer networks. My position at JDS involves, among many other things, the resolution of issues that arise during the testing phase of our products and improvements to the testing process.

As a student and employee, I spent fourteen years at Brock, and will always value that time as a period of constant learning. The faculty members in the Physics Department were always willing to take time out from their busy schedules to answer questions, even those having nothing to do with physics. I feel that my studies at Brock developed the analytical skills necessary for the challenges of my new position.

Ronald Snelgrove, February 7, 2001