Robert Dynes Conducts a demonstration in his UCSD lab.


Robert C. Dynes was the 18th president of the University of California, from 2003 to 2008. A first-generation college graduate and a distinguished physicist, Dynes served as the sixth chancellor of the UC’s San Diego campus from 1996 to 2003. He came to UC San Diego in 1990 after a 22-year career at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he served as department head of semiconductor and material physics research and director of chemical physics research. His numerous scientific honors include the 1990 Fritz London Award in Low Temperature Physics and his election to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1994.

While president, Dynes also was a professor of physics at UC Berkeley, where he directs a laboratory that focuses on superconductivity and incorporates postdoctoral and graduate students, as well as undergraduates,in physics and materials science. As a professor of physics at UC San Diego, he founded an interdisciplinary laboratory where chemists, electrical engineers, and private industry researchers investigated the properties of metals, semiconductors and superconductors. He subsequently became chairman of the Department of Physics and then senior vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Since leaving the UC presidency in June 2008, Dynes has joined the boards of Argonne National Laboratory, the review panel for the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Helmholtz Foundation in Germany and the San Diego Foundation. He currently chairs a National Academy of Sciences Study on Advanced Radiation Detectors; its report is due to the Department of Homeland Security in March 2009. He has rejoined as a professor the UC San Diego Department of Physics.

Active in the national scientific arena, he is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth and the Governor’s Nurse Education Initiative Task Force. He is a Fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology and a member of the Business-Higher Education Forum.

A native of London, Ontario, Canada, and a naturalized United States citizen, Dynes holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics and an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Western Ontario and master’s and doctoral degrees in physics and an honorary doctor of science degree from McMaster University. He also holds an honorary doctorate from L’Université de Montréal. He is married to Ann Parode Dynes, the former campus counsel of UC San Diego.