Prof. James Harper (1946 – 2011)
Professor James Harper of the University of New Hampshire has been a fundamental member of the Physics Department and a pivotal figure in the growth and development of the Materials Science Program. His research focused on the modifications of thin film materials by low energy ion bombardment during growth, and the application of these methods to forming nanostructured composites synthesized by magnetron sputtering. His fulfilling career began in 1975 at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY where he spent 28 years conducting research, including 20 years as a research manager. In 2003 he became a Professor at the University of New Hampshire and had a second very satisfying career by continuing his thin film and surface science research curiosities. His great leadership, his impeccable analytical skills and his constant motivation to push you to reach unseen heights were qualities of Jim’s that were the greatest gifts to everyone throughout his years. Sadly, on October 4, 2011, Jim lost his longtime stuggle against illness. Professor Harper will be deeply missed, but his contributions have made a lasting fingerprint in the department and his teachings will live through all of us that were fortunate to know him.