A&S community mourns loss of former dean

February 2, 2022 by A&S News

The Faculty of Arts & Science community is mourning the loss of former A&S Dean Robin Louis Armstrong, who passed away on December 17, 2021, at 86.

Professor Armstrong was a distinguished researcher in condensed matter physics. He published more than 200 articles spanning a range of areas including of magnetic resonance, magnetic resonance imaging and neutron diffraction.

Robin Armstrong (right) talking to Felix Bloch and greeting one another.
Robin Armstrong (right) talking to Felix Bloch (1952 Nobel Laureate for his discovery of the magnetic resonance signal), at the International Magnetic Resonance Conference at the Banff Springs Hotel in 1977. Photo courtesy of Henry Van Driel.

He also earned numerous degrees from the University of Toronto, having graduated from the honours program in mathematics, physics and chemistry in 1954, and earned his master of science in 1959 and his PhD in molecular spectroscopy in 1961.

Armstrong was the first associate chair for undergraduate studies of U of T’s Department of Physics, and became chair in 1974 and A&S dean in 1982. His contributions were recognized with the Herzberg Medal in 1973, appointment as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1979, the Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Physics of the Canadian Association of Physicists in 1990, the University of Córdoba's Vistante Distinguido award in 1987, and an honorary degree from the University of New Brunswick in 2001.

A memorial service is planned at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates donations to the Robin L. Armstrong Scholarship or the Robin L. and Karen E. Armstrong Bursary.

U of T Professor Emeritus Henry Van Driel, shares his personal reflection on Armstrong.