Harper Fellowship

If you find yourself stuck, think of the most important part of the word research. You must search and search and search again.”  - Jim Harper, 2010

Prof. James Harper (1946 – 2011)

James Harper

Professor James Harper of the University of New Hampshire has been a fundamental member of the Physics Department and a pivotal figure in the growth and development of the Materials Science Program. His research focused on the modifications of thin film materials by low energy ion bombardment during growth, and the application of these methods to forming nanostructured composites synthesized by magnetron sputtering. His fulfilling career began in 1975 at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY where he spent 28 years conducting research, including 20 years as a research manager. In 2003 he became a Professor at the University of New Hampshire and had a second very satisfying career by continuing his thin film and surface science research curiosities. His great leadership, his impeccable analytical skills and his constant motivation to push you to reach unseen heights were qualities of Jim’s that were the greatest gifts to everyone throughout his years. Sadly, on October 4, 2011, Jim lost his longtime stuggle against illness. Professor Harper will be deeply missed, but his contributions have made a lasting fingerprint in the department and his teachings will live through all of us that were fortunate to know him. 

students sailing with jim harper

In order to leave a positive legacy that would honor Jim's personal goals and his professional work in science, the Harper family has set up the James M. E. Harper Fellowship :

"The purpose of the Professor James M. E. Harper Fellowship is to provide financial support to students pursuing a degree in the Department of Physics at the University of New Hampshire. Awards will be based on academic merit, and preference will be given to students pursuing a master’s or doctorate level degree. High achieving undergraduate students may also be considered for this fellowship. The Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, in consultation with the Chair of the Department of Physics, shall be responsible for the selection of fellowship recipients and for administering all awards from the Fund."  

The intent of this fund is to provide resources that will support the educational endeavors of students who best represent the spirit and scientific achievements for which Jim was known. Although the Dean makes the formal decision as to how the fellowship finds will be distributed, the Physics department will provide specific guidance and recommendations.  Anyone wishing to donate to the fellowship fund can do so by writing a check payable to the "UNH Foundation" and writing "James Harper Fellowship" in the memo line. The check can be sent directly to the UNH Physics Department at the following address:

Prof. Karsten Pohl, Chair
University of New Hampshire
Department of Physics
9 Library Way
Durham, NH 03824
Alternatively, contributions can be made on-line through the UNH Give website.  (Be sure to select the "College of Engineering & Physical Science", specify "other", and enter "James Harper Fellowship" in the comment line.)