Graduate Dean Doug Welch

April 20, 2017

Doug Welch appointed new AVP, Dean of Grad Studies

Welch, an astronomer and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, is currently serving in the same role in an acting capacity.

A Senate selection committee recommended the appointment, and it was confirmed April 20 by McMaster’s Board of Governors. The appointment is effective immediately and runs until June 30, 2022.

“It is a great privilege and honour to be selected for this role,” says Welch. “Graduate students and graduate education are essential to McMaster's research intensity, which is why I’m so committed to ensuring our graduates have the broad range of skills needed to be global citizens and contribute to solving society's most critical challenges. I know that we have an excellent and dedicated graduate support community working towards these same goals and have great enthusiasm for this opportunity.”

As acting Dean of Grad Studies, Welch led efforts to increase institutional supports for graduate students, including launching new courses and workshops designed to introduce students to research best practices, ethics and University policies. He has also prioritized the continued recruitment of top grad students to McMaster’s programs.

Welch joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1988 as an NSERC University Research Fellow. He served as Chair of the department between 1997 and 2000 and as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in several capacities since July 2004.

In 2010, he was awarded the Royal Society of Canada’s McNeil Medal, for demonstrating outstanding ability to promote and communicate science to students and the public.

Welch’s recent research has focused on supernova “light echoes,” the phenomenon caused by light reflected off surfaces distant from the source, and arriving at the observer with a delay relative to this distance.