Geology and geophysics professor Kerry Kelts died February
8 at age 55 after an eight-year battle with Hodgkin's disease. Kelts
served as director of the University's Limnological Research Center
for 10 years. Under his leadership, the center achieved international
recognition. Kelts came to the University in 1990 after earning
a Ph.D. in geology from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
He was interested in applying techniques used in oceanography to
the study of lakes. He also helped design a floating drilling platform
that permitted scientists to take deeper core samples from lake
Morris Nicholson, professor emeritus of chemical engineering
and materials science, died January 30 at age 84. Nicholson earned
his Ph.D. in physical metallurgy from Massachusetts Institute of
Technology in 1947. After a brief stint in industry and several
years at the University of Chicago, Nicholson came to IT in 1956
to head the physical metallurgy program. In 1971, he became director
of IT's fledgling UNITE instructional television program. He retired
from the University in 1985.
John Winckler, professor emeritus of physics and an expert
on auroras and the upper atmosphere, died February 6 at age 84.
A pioneer in the use of balloons for scientific study, Winckler's
research contributed to the understanding of space and to the development
of instruments used on spacecraft. In 1989 he made news with his
discovery of sprites—enormous flashes of lightning too quick
to see with the naked eye. He was elected to the National Academy
of Sciences in 1996.