It is with profound sadness that the CAP learned today of the passing of Randy Kobes on Sunday, September 19th. Dr. Kobes passed away after a recent battle with lung cancer. Dr. Kobes, Associate Dean of Science at the University of Winnipeg, has been a CAP member since 1988. He was Regional Councillor in 1992-1993 and was Chair of the Division of Theoretical Physics from 2000 to 2002.
Randy was an excellent academic, physicist and educator of young people. He was fully dedicated to public engagement in science. His contributions to community learning at The University of Winnipeg went far beyond the classroom.
Randy was a primary driver of the University’s Let’s Talk Science and was also keenly involved in the Eco-Kids programs, and numerous other outreach activities that involved inner-city children and youth. He was also the leader of numerous new degree programs in science, including Radiation Health and Safety; Science, Environment and Indigenous Knowledge; and pre-professional programs.
Randy was truly dedicated to student success. Almost all of his work efforts were directed to encouraging student success in one way or another. Along with the many initiatives mentioned above, he volunteered his time in the summer with the CSI (Community School Investigators), an inner city summer learning enrichment program and was very involved in the homework club at the Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre. He also personally drove students to Sisler High School, where the University had established an off-campus homework club.
Randy obtained a B. Eng. degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Saskatchewan in 1978 and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Alberta in 1983. He held postdoctoral fellowships at the University of British Columbia and at Memorial University of Newfoundland before joining the University of Winnipeg in 1987.
His research interests included the application of quantum field theoretic methods to topics in theoretical particle physics and investigating non-linear effects using numerical techniques. He held an NSERC Discovery Grant since joining the University of Winnipeg, and most recently served as the University’s Associate Dean of Science.
In June 2005 Randy was awarded the Marsha Hanen Award for Excellence in Creating Community Awareness. He founded the Manitoba chapter of Let’s Talk Science, which promotes scientific literacy by having University of Winnipeg volunteer scientists visit classrooms, present interactive experiments and raise awareness of science. In October 1999 he won the Erica and Arnold Rogers Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship.
The CAP sends its most heartfelt condolences to Randy’s family at this time.