Erich Vogt

Raised so far


Erich W Vogt, the Canadian nuclear physicist and UBC professor who helped found Canada’s national nuclear and particle physics lab and Science World BC, passed away on February 19, 2014.

He was the recipient of the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

“As one of the pioneering founders of the lab, Erich was a huge part of the TRIUMF family as well as that of UBC and the broader physics community around the world,” said Jim Hanlon, head of TRIUMF’s Business and Administration Division, in a statement.

“He contributed to each and every person he met with warmth, advice, and a wry joke or story that put everything into perspective. I expect that many people will be affected by this loss and will want to pause and reflect on the ways that Erich touched their lives.”
Vogt was born in Steinbach, Manitoba on November 12, 1929 and received academic degrees at the University of Manitoba and Princeton University. From 1956 to 1965, he was on the staff of the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratory as a theoretical physicist where he published a large number of papers on nuclear reactions and was heavily involved in the creation of the first CANDU reactors for Canada.

In 1965, Vogt became a professor at the University of British Columbia, and was a founder and one of the prime movers behind the TRIUMF project — Canada’s National Meson Sciences Research Facility located on the University’s Vancouver campus. From 1975 until 1981, he served as Vice President, Faculty and Student Affairs at UBC. In 2006 he was appointed to the Order of British Columbia and in the same year received the UBC Faculty of Science Achievement Award for Teaching. He continued to teach first year physics until his 80th birthday in 2009, and in 45 years taught more than 5,000 students.

Vogt was president of the Canadian Association of Physicists from 1970 to 71, earning the 1988 CAP Medal for Achievement in Physics. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 1977, the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal, and the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 1978, Vogt was appointed as the first Chairman of the Science Council of British Columbia, a position which he held until 1980.

The impact of your support

The Erich Vogt First Year Student Research Experience Endowment gives outstanding first year students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working on a summer research project. These internships will help students apply their knowledge, and may ignite a passion for physics discovery. This award honours Dr. Erich Vogt (1929-2014), one of the most distinguished Canadian nuclear physicists of his generation.

Dr. Vogt worked tirelessly for over 40 years to share the extraordinary wonders of physics with his students. Your support of this fund honours him, and helps inspire a new generation.
Dr. Erich Vogt joined UBC’s Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1965. As the founding Director of TRIUMF, Dr. Vogt was a pioneer in the global physics community. In addition to his scientific contributions, Dr. Vogt was profoundly dedicated to his students. Even after his official retirement in 1994, he continued to teach first-year physics until 2009. On, his reviews are a testament to his gift for teaching. One student says, “Honours physics isn't an easy program, but with Dr. Vogt, it sure is a fun one. It is a great pleasure to have a professor that is both good at teaching and truly passionate about his subject. Mind-blowing and wacky antics are a day-to-day occurrence.”

The Erich Vogt First Year Student Research Experience Endowment reflects Dr. Vogt’s passion for physics and his commitment to young aspiring scientists This award will, in perpetuity, honour his legacy by offering first-year physics students hands-on learning, valuable work experience and the opportunity to contribute to scientific knowledge.
Your donation to this fund will honour Dr. Vogt’s contributions to UBC, to science, and to his students, and will continue his life’s work of introducing first-year students to the power and wonder of physics.

Share this page with friends and family