PhD (Allahabad), MSc (Allahabad), Professor of Physics (1967-2001)
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The Department of Physics mourns the loss of one of its own, Dr. Ramesh C. Shukla, a Professor Emeritus since 2001.
Dr. Shukla joined the Physics Department at Brock in 1967 and until his retirement in 2001 was one of its
theoretical physicists. As an instructor, he was one of the creators of the Physics curriculum at Brock,
introducing such foundational courses as PHYS 4P50: Quantum Mechanics, and PHYS 4P70: Solid-State Physics (together
with Colin Plint and Frans Koffyberg). He taught at all levels of the Physics program, and is fondly remembered
by generations of students who attended his lectures. His precision and dedication to getting the details right
influenced many a career, and he was known for volunteering his Saturday afternoons to give additional lectures
in Calculus when he felt the class needed them.
Dr. Shukla leaves a significant scientific legacy or research in lattice dynamics, in particular lattice vibrations in simple metals, thermodynamics of anharmonic crystals, the formalism of interacting many-body systems, Monte-Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations.
He will be missed.
A tribute to my father, by Rakesh Shukla
With $8 each in their pockets, my Mom and Dad arrived in the Bronx 57 years ago. It was a generational-changing move. Their kids and grandkids have thrived growing up in Canada and the US.
My Dad grew up in a small village in India. He was a mischievous little boy. Raised by his strict grandfather who was the Priest at the Annapurna Temple in Tirwa, he was home-schooled in Sanskrit, Indian History and Hinduism.
He started formal schooling very late and woefully unprepared in Grade 8. In his first exam (Geometry), he scored 3 out of 60 😮 Deeply ashamed, he dedicated himself to his studies and within a few years was the very top student. He discovered he had a tremendous talent for math and the sciences. Having incredible memory recall certainly helped!
However, his heartfelt passion was for the arts – philosophy, languages (he spoke 5), cultural religion and most especially music. He loved music so much that he received his Bachelor’s degree in Classical Indian Music. His Master’s degree was in Applied Math and his PhD in Quantum Physics - all from the University of Allahabad.
He started his career at NASA at NYU as a research scientist. Discouraged by the bureaucracy and politics, he was more than happy to be recruited away by the University of Ottawa in Canada. A few years later, he co-established the Physics Dept at Brock University (at the old lower Brock!). He became a tenured professor very quickly and then the Chairman for many years.
He loved Loved LOVED his research. Once an idea captured his imagination, he would be completely absorbed for months at a time until his hypothesis was either proven or refuted. He collaborated with some of the great physics minds across Canada, the US and Europe and published over 100 papers in prestigious peer-reviewed Physics journals. We still have boxes and boxes of his FORTRAN punch cards!
His guilty pleasure was professional wrestling. Together, with his sons, we loved the heroes and hated the villains ... but honestly, half the fun was watching our animated father watch wrestling 😄
My Dad was an awesome father and husband, a serenely deep thinker, a beautiful singer, a sought-after educator and a spiritually-driven Brahmin Hindu.
He had a remarkable life.
Namaste Dad 🙏
See also: Brock community mourns former Physics professor, a Brock News article.