In memory of: Gerald Dolling, 1935-2018


Gerald was born in Dunstable UK on November 21, 1935. In his final year at grammar school he went to Cambridge University for a week to write the exams required for entrance to the university. He passed, was awarded a scholarship and went there in 1954.

At Cambridge he obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees.

It was while doing research work for his thesis at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell UK that Gerald became interested in the research being conducted at AECL Chalk River on condensed matter physics using neutron scattering techniques to probe the atomic and interatomic forces in solids and liquids.

He decided to apply for a job, was offered one as an assistant research officer in the Physics Division.

He accepted and arrived at AECL as a landed immigrant in the middle of August 1961 ready to begin his professional career.

His previous work experience consisted of summer student jobs, including being a farm labourer, a milkman and a bus conductor.

During his career at AECL, Gerald became an expert in lattice dynamics and worked on metals, semiconductors and alloys. He authored numerous papers and wrote five book chapters.

He strongly supported research into industrial applications of neutron scattering, a field which he helped pioneer in the early 1980s.

He became head of the Neutron and Solid State Physics Branch in 1979, Director of Physics Division in 1988 and was appointed Vice-President of the Research Company of Atomic Energy of Canada in 1990 with responsibility for the National Fusion Program.

He retired from AECL in 1995.

Besides work Gerald always participated in many sports and activities. At school he played grass hockey and went for long cycling trips to the Lake District and Wales.

Shortly after arriving in Canada he took his first ski lesson at Hill Park using a pair of wooden skis and lace-up boots.

He became a keen skier especially enjoying the powder snow. When there was fresh snow he would try to be first on the lift.

He became a Level 2 ski instructor and for many years taught at the Tuesday night adult classes at the Mount Martin Ski Club.

During the summer he sailed a 505 racing dinghy participating in local races and regattas.

Windsurfing was another sport Gerald enjoyed, especially high wind days. Together with family and friends many spring and fall vacations were spent in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. He also liked to read, listen to music, solve cryptic crosswords and sudokus.

He frequently served on the committees of clubs he joined. He was president of the Deep River Film Society, chairman of THEOP, president of the Mount Martin Ski Club and commodore of the Deep River Yacht and Tennis Club.

After retirement he became a volunteer driver for the Red Cross and the North Renfrew Long Term Care and also president of the Deep River Community Association.

He joined the local mountain bike group, went cross-country skiing and helped look after the grandchildren.

He sometimes remarked that coming to Canada was one of the best decisions he ever made.

He felt most fortunate to have had a job he loved and to live in a peaceful place surrounded by beautiful scenery.

His family will miss him but have many happy memories of all the good times spent together.

A celebration of his life will be held at the Deep River Yacht and Tennis Club on Sunday, May 12 from 1-4 pm.