Antony C. Fraser-Smith: Biographical Sketch

[Clock Tower] Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Antony C. Fraser-Smith received his B.Sc. (1959) and M.Sc. (1961, with honors) degrees in Physics from the University of New Zealand. He received his Ph.D. degree in Space Physics from the University of Auckland in 1966. (You might wish to click on the thumbnail picture of the clock tower at the University of Auckland to see a bigger version of the lovely old building -- it was built in 1926). Dr. Fraser-Smith served as a Junior Lecturer (1961--1965) and Lecturer (1965--1966) in Physics at the University of Auckland, teaching courses in general and advanced electromagnetism, generalized mechanics and special relativity, and experimental statistics and error. He also served as the Faculty Administrator of the second year Physics class and Director of the Physics Advanced Laboratory.

In 1966 Dr. Fraser-Smith joined Lockheed Aircraft Corporation's Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California, as an Associate Research Scientist. While with Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin Corporation; the research laboratory is now part of the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC), he conducted experimental and theoretical research into the origin and properties of ultra-low frequency (ULF; frequencies less than 5 Hz) geomagnetic pulsations and he was responsible for the operation of the Lockheed Palo Alto Geomagnetic Observatory.

Dr. Fraser-Smith has been with the Space, Telecommunications and Radioscience (STAR) Laboratory in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University since 1968, first as a Research Associate and Senior Research Associate in Electrical Engineering, then as a Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Geophysics (Research), and finally, from September 2003, as an Emeritus Professor. He served as Associate Chair of the Electrical Engineering Department during the years 1995 - 2000. He has been active in studies of ULF, extremely-low frequency (ELF; frequencies in the range 5 Hz - 3 kHz), and very-low frequency (VLF; frequencies in the range 3 - 30 kHz) variations of the earth's electromagnetic environment, and their relation to events in the upper atmosphere (ionosphere and magnetosphere) and in the earth itself. These studies included (1) a global ELF/VLF radio noise measurement program, (2) the analysis of low-frequency electromagnetic noise data from modulated electron beam experiments on high altitude rockets and Space Shuttle orbiters, and (3) experimental and theoretical work in the new field of radio-seismology: the electromagnetic fields associated with earthquakes. He is currently only active in items (1) and (3). In addition, Dr. Fraser-Smith has long been involved in studies of ULF/ELF underseas communication and in electromagnetic methods of submarine detection. He is the author or coauthor of over one hundred and forty publications, one book chapter, and numerous reports.

During March-June 1980, Dr. Fraser-Smith was on leave from Stanford at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, where he occupied the Chair of Applied Physics in the Department of Physics and Chemistry. He taught a course on the electromagnetic fields in the sea and conducted research on magnetic field gradiometers and their application to undersea detection. A thumbnail picture of Herrmann Hall, the main administration building at the Postgraduate School, is shown on the right.

Dr. Fraser-Smith is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (London), a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, a Senior Member of the IEEE, a Life Member of the American Physical Society, and a Member of the American Geophysical Union, the International Scientific Radio Union (URSI), and the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA; a member society of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, or IUGG). He has served as an Associate Editor of the journal Radio Science (1987--1993), and during the interval 1981--1987 he served as a member of a scientific advisory panel appointed by the State of New York to oversee a $5 million program of studies to determine the possible effects on human health of the electromagnetic fields from high-voltage overhead power transmission lines. Dr. Fraser-Smith received his U.S. citizenship in 1971.

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