University of Utah physics professor Orest G. Symko has won the 1995 Calvin S. and Jeneal N. Hatch Prize in Teaching.
The honor along with a $5,000 award goes annually to a U. faculty member for outstanding teaching, concern for students and academic accomplishments.Symko has been on the U. faculty since 1970 and has supervised 19 masters and doctoral theses. Also, he has taught courses at Pontifica Univer-si-dade Catolica in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and University J. Fourier in Grenoble, France.
His research interests include magnetism, quasicrystals, photoacoustic spectroscopy and thermoacoustics. He is a member and fellow of the American Physical Society and has authored or co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and a textbook, "Physics of Hi-Fi, From Analog to Digital."
Symko heads a U. research team that is building a palm-size thermoacoustic refrigerator powered by sound louder than a jet taking off. The device would be used to cool future high-temperature superconductors, fast electronic components and space experiments.
Educated in Ottawa, Canada, and Oxford, England, Symko worked at the University of California at San Diego with the late John Wheatley, who pioneered the acoustic refrigerator in 1983.
In a letter nominating Symko for the Hatch prize, one student wrote, "Dr. Symko has passion about teaching and a strong willingness to communicate with students."