2017: Norman Maclean Faculty Award

Peter O. Vandervoort, AB’54, SB’55, SM’56, PhD’60

  • Professor Emeritus, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the College

Chicago, Illinois

Peter O. Vandervoort, AB’54, SB’55, SM’56, PhD’60, is professor emeritus in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago, a position he has held since his retirement in 2003. Professor Vandervoort is known for his theoretical investigations of the dynamical processes governing the formation, structures, and evolution of stars, gaseous nebulae, and galaxies with applications to stellar orbits, spiral structure, and bars in galaxies, chaos in the oscillations of galaxies, and resonances and chaos in the pulsations of stars.

Professor Vandervoort is not just an extraordinary scientist but a thoughtful and supportive mentor. He has taught and individually guided many generations of undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs and junior colleagues starting in 1961 and continuing to today – over 50 years. He has served ably in numerous administrative and services positions both at the University of Chicago and national and international professional organizations.

Prior to his emeritus status, Professor Vandervoort was a professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the College at the University of Chicago from 1980-2003. During his time as professor he was acting dean for the Division of the Physical Sciences; master of the Physical Sciences Collegiate Division and associate dean of the Division of the Physical Sciences and of the College; and associate chairman of the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics.