Contact Information: Caltech, 150-21
Pasadena, CA 91125
Ph: 626-395-6534
FAX: 626-585-1917

Born: September 2, 1948
New Zealand citizen (Permanent US resident)


B.S. (Physics) 1971, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand
M.S. (Distinction in Theoretical Physics) 1972, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand
Ph.D. (Theoretical Physics) 1976, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Thesis: "Interior Structure of Jupiter"; adviser, E. E. Salpeter.


Fulbright Scholar, 1971-1976
Urey Prize (Division of Planetary Science, AAS) 1984
Fellow, American Geophysical Union, elected 1986
Fellow of The Royal Society (London), elected 1993
Whipple Award (Planetology Section, American Geophysical Union) 1994
(5211) Stevenson. Asteroid named in 1996 at the suggestion of the discoverers (Gene and Caroline Shoemaker) and A. Harris. Discovered at Palomar 1989, July 8. Reported in Minor Planets Circular, July 1, 1996. 
Hess Medal (American Geophysical Union) 1998
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, elected 1999
Honorary Doctorate of Science, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2002.
Foreign Associate, National Academy of Sciences, elected 2004.

Teaching Awards:

Graduate Student Council (Caltech) Exceptional Teaching Award, 1993
ASCIT (Caltech undergraduates) Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1996
Feynman Teaching Prize, 2001

Special Lectures or Lectureships:

Elsasser Lecturer (Johns Hopkins University), 1995.
Distinguished Visiting Professor, New Mexico State University, February 1998
Loeb Lecturer, Harvard University, March 1998
Suess Lecture, University of California at San Diego, May 1999
Tuzo Wilson Lecture, Toronto, May 2000
Salpeter Lecturer, Cornell University, November, 2000
Arnold Lecture, UCSD, May 2006
Jaeger-Hales Lecturer, Australian National University, October, 2006

Professional Experience:

George Van Osdol Professor of Planetary Science, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 1995-
Chairman of the Faculty, Caltech, 1997-99.
Professor of Planetary Science, Caltech, 1984-1995.
Chairman, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Caltech, 1989-1994
Visiting Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, September-December, 1994
Visiting Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, January-March, 1995
Visiting Professor of Astronomy, Cornell University, 1986-1987
Associate Professor, Caltech, 1980-84 (tenured in 1982).
Assistant Professor of Planetary Physics, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, 1978-80
Research Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, 1976-78

Professional Affiliations, Editorial Activities & Committee Activities (partial list):

Fellow of American Geophysical Union
Member of American Astronomical Society
Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science
Member, NAS Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, 1975, 1982-85
Member, Lunar & Planetary Review Panel 1980-1982
Associate Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research Red, 1984-1986
Editorial Board, ICARUS, 1984-1986.
Associate Editor, ICARUS, 1990-present
Member, numerous AGU Committees (Fellows, Waldo Smith, Fleming & Hess medal, etc) 1990-present
Member, NASA Origins Review Panel, 1995-1997
Member, Section 5 Committee of The Royal Society, 1995-1998
Member, M.I.T. visiting committee (Dept. EAPS) 1995-present
Member, Search Committee to find the new President of Caltech (David Baltimore) 1996-97
Elector, Schlumberger Chair, Cambridge University 1999-2000
Member, Solar System Exploration Subcommittee (SSES),
NASA, 2000-2002
President, Planetary Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union, 2002-2004
Chair, Search Committee to find the new President of Caltech (Jean-Lou Chameau) 2005-2006

Research Interests:

Internal structure and evolution of both major and terrestrial planets. Applications of fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics to planetary interiors. Origin of the solar system. Author of over 100 papers in these areas.

Graduate Students who have obtained their Ph.D. under my Direction (and their current positions):

Jonathan Lunine (1984) Planetary Sciences; Professor, Un. Arizona
Randolph Kirk (1987) Planetary Sciences; USGS Flagstaff
David Scott (1987) Geophysics; Lecturer, University College
London [has now left science for a career in high finance]
Greg Ojakangas (1989) Planetary Sciences; Professor of
Physics, Drury College, Springfield, Missouri
Huw Davies (1990) Geophysics; Lecturer, Cardiff University
Paul Tackley (1994) Geophysics; Professor, ETH (Zurich)
David Koerner (1994) Planetary Sciences; Asst. Prof, Un. Maryland.
Stuart Stephens (1995) Planetary Sciences; JPL
Jun-Jun Liu (2006) Planetary Sciences; postdoc at Caltech

Courses I have Developed or Taught Extensively at Caltech:

Ge1 (Earth and Environment) New course (part of Caltech's new core curriculum), 1997-2000
Ge4 (The Solar System) several years
Ge102 (Introduction to Geophysics) 1981, 1991, 1992
Ge103 (Introduction to Planetary Sciences) 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1990
Ge131 (Origin of the Solar System) 1981,1983,1985,1988
Ge131 (Planetary Structure and Evolution) 1999-2006
Ge248 (Geodynamics)1993
Ge260 (Mineral Physics) jointly with Ahrens every 2nd year from 1980-88
ACM95b, c (Introductory Methods of Applied Math) 1996 and 2005.
Ph101 (Order of Magnitude Physics) co-taught 2001, 2003, 2005.
Also major contributions to Ge1, Ge151 (Planetary
Surfaces), Ph1, Ph11, Ph103


Development: Chairman, Core Curriculum Council at Caltech (1995-96)