Professor Clyde Kimball’s research, teaching, administrative, industrial and military accomplishments span 60 years.
After obtaining his B.S. degree in Engineering Physics in 1950, he joined Argonne National Laboratory as an Assistant Physicist, working on design of heavy-water and enriched-uranium prototypes of the breeder reactor. He held several associate and consultant positions there while working on important construction projects such as gamma-ray spectrometers, intermediate-energy neutron physics, time-of-flight electronics for neutron spectroscopy, and development of the Mossbauer technique for the study of magnetic and electronic properties. He also served as a Radiation Safety Officer for the United States Army and as a scientist for the aviation industry designing laboratories for materials research.
Clyde joined the NIU Physics Department in the fall of 1964 while continuing professional appointments at Argonne National Laboratory. Over the years, he has taught almost all departmental undergraduate and graduate courses. He has formally supervised more than 30 research students; he has supported hundreds more from his research grants, which earned tens of millions of dollars for NIU. He also continuously conducted vigorous research resulting in nearly 300 publications.
Beyond his teaching and research responsibilities, Clyde conceived numerous initiatives and partnerships with Argonne National Laboratory and developed inter- and intra-college collaborations, such as serving as a bridge between the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology and the Department of Physics. He created research centers such as the Consortium for Advanced Radiation Sources and the Institute for NanoScience, Engineering and Technology. He also served as science advisor to the President of NIU and worked twice as program director at the National Science Foundation, providing vital guidance at the national level while building important recognition for NIU.
Despite this extraordinarily busy schedule of accomplishments, Clyde has always exhibited collegiality, taking personal interest in others’ work, setting up meetings, arranging introductions, and dedicating constructive attention to new faculty. Over the years, he has exemplified how a love of science, intellectual accomplishment, a caring attitude toward people, and an ability to get things done can be successfully combined.