Engineer, 18th-century expert among Royals

An authority on the 18th century and an expert in steel manufacturing processes are among the six UBC faculty members recently elected to the Royal Society of Canada.

Elected were Mathematics Prof. Martin Barlow, Prof. Emeritus Larry Bongie of the Dept. of French, Geography Prof. David Ley, Prof. Indira Samarasekera of the Dept. of Metals and Materials Engineering, Earth and Ocean Sciences Prof. Leslie Smith and Prof. Carl Walters of the Zoology Dept. and Fisheries Centre.

Fifty-seven new fellows will be inducted at a ceremony in Ottawa Nov. 20.

Barlow is one of the world leaders in probability theory. He has made fundamental contributions in a variety of fields, but his most notable work has been on the mathematical theory of diffusion and heat conduction on fractals.

Bongie is a researcher and author whose work demonstrates mastery of 18th-century literary, philosophic and historical studies. The French Enlightenment is his chief subject field, but his range extends to figures associated with 18th-century Britain. His five groundbreaking books on five different authors place him in the top rank of 18th-century scholars.

Ley is one of the most distinguished contemporary social geographers and is considered one of the most astute analysts of the Canadian city. Author of five books and some 75 articles, his work deals with the changing social fabric of the inner city and also raises important questions about representation, culture and politics, and about the ways in which we know and describe space.

Samarasekera is best known for her outstanding work on the continuous casting of steel. In this work she has combined mathematical modelling of heat flow and stress fields in the system with unique in-plant measurements. These results have led to major improvements in continuous casting in plants throughout the world.

Smith has received national and international recognition for his original research contributions to the field of hydrology. His work has encompassed stochastic analysis of fluid flow and solute transport, modelling of transport process in fractured rock, consideration of thermal effects on groundwater flow, and the assessment of the role of ground-water flow in geodynamic processes.

Walters has contributed broadly to research in population and community ecology with publications ranging from the study of the physical phenomena of lakes and other fresh waters and plankton biology to the development of models for fisheries stock assessment. He is best known for his development of models known as adaptive management, which use proper experimental design to evaluate renewable resource management policies.

Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada is considered Canada's senior academic accolade.

Among Canadian universities, UBC has the second highest number of Royal Society fellows with 135. The University of Toronto has 250.