B.Sc. (Honours) 1978
Upon graduation from high school with a strong interest in both physics and
chemistry, I had narrowed my university choices to Brock, McMaster and York
Universities. Sensing my uneasiness with large groups and environments my high school
Physics teacher highly recommended Brock. After meeting some of the Brock faculty at an
open house, I was so impressed with the enthusiasm Dr.F.P.Koffyberg displayed for
experimental research and physics in general, I enrolled as a Physics major at Brock in
Initially, I found the change to university studies difficult and my marks suffered
accordingly. Fortunately, some of the faculty took the time to encourage me to continue
and by 1978 I graduated with a 1st class Honours B.Sc. degree. Under the supervision of
Dr.Koffyberg my undergraduate research project involved the study of the conductivity and
optical absorption properties of semiconducting tungsten trioxide glasses. An accidental result of the
optical absorption studies showed that the amorphous tungsten trioxide glasses could possibly be used
as a display device, and at least one Japanese firm met with Dr. Koffyberg and followed up
on the research.
Upon graduation in 1978 I started work as research assistant to
Dr. Koffyberg conducting research on a wide range of semiconductors, mainly those with a
In 1980 I left Brock University and accepted a job as a research scientist with Gould
Manufacturing of Canada. My research was sponsored by the Canadian Armed Forces and
involved improvement of the charge acceptance of lead acid batteries under low
temperature conditions. This was necessitated by the fact that under sub zero temperatures
the chemical reaction involved in lead acid batteries becomes somewhat irreversible,
hence making charging of batteries very difficult.
In 1981, as my contract with Gould Manufacturing was just about done, Dr.
Koffyberg offered me a chance to come back to Brock as his full time research assistant. Our
association was very productive, producing 18 publications from 1978 to 1988. All having
to do with the electrical and optical properties of various semiconductors in both
polycrystalline and amorphous form. My work with
Dr. Koffyberg and especially my participation in experimental research
taught me a lot about patience and persistence, both of which have served me well in my
current position as Senior Laboratory demonstrator.
In 1988 I gave up research to accept a full time position as Senior Laboratory
Demonstrator with the Physics Department of Brock University, a position I currently still
hold. While different, working with students has turned out to be equally as rewarding,
and it is interesting to watch them progress through their brief years at Brock.
As well as my duties as Senior Demonstrator, I currently serve on the University
Science Safety and the Radiation Safety committees. In recent years I have also participated
in the summer programs "Scientifically Yours" and "Science Camp" which are week-long
camps to encourage grade 11 girls and grade 6-8 students respectively, to consider science as
their field of study and/or vocation.
I have been enjoying thoroughly my stay here at Brock University. As a student Brock
supplied me with a close and friendly house of learning, and as an employee - with a
rewarding job, both as a research assistant and in my current capacity as Senior Lab
Frank Benko, March 20, 1995