Distinguished Alumni Awards

Robert Joseph Maurer

Robert  Joseph Maurer
To Robert Joseph Maurer, who through his years of dedicated service as a teacher, research scientist, adviser to government, and first director of the Materials Research Laboratory, has brough renown and credit to the University of Illinois.

Professor of Physics, Emeritus, University of Illinios at Urbana-Champaign

  • BS, 1934, University of Rochester
  • PhD, 1939, University of Rochester

After completing his PhD in physics in 1939 at the University of Rochester, Dr. Maurer did research and taught at several leading universities, working on photoelectric effect, optical properties of metals, electrical conductivity, and high-field breakdown of insulators. He conducted early studies in the potential use of semiconductors as radar detectors and, during 1944-45, served as physicist on the Manhattan Project at the University of Chicago. Professor Maurer and Professor Fred Seitz came to the University of Illinois form Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1949. Together, they initiated new research in solid-state physics.

Professor Maurer played a key role in the development of the Materials Research Laboratory and was its first director until his retirement in 1981. He has published many articles from his research in solid-state physics. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and has served extensively as an adviser to several national laboratories and as director of the Council on Materials Science of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Current as of 1985.