In memory of Prof Pieter Stoker


Funeral arrangements:

Prof Stoker’s family invites his colleagues and students to attend his memorial service with details as follows:
Date: Friday, 11 November 2022
Time: 14:30 
Venue: Gereformeerde Kerk, Potchefstroom (33 Walter Sisulu Drive)


Prof Stoker’s career:

Prof Pieter Stoker was appointed in 1953 as the head of the Department Physics at the Potchefstroom University for Christian Education (1953 – 1990). Under his leadership, the undergraduate and postgraduate courses and experimental work were developed, with important contributions by MA Meyer. Stoker (together with Meyer) initiated cosmic ray research at this university. Stoker was Director of the PU Research Unit for Cosmic Rays, 1960 - 1991. He led the construction of neutron monitors for the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957. Until today, there are four neutron monitor stations under the authority of the former Unit for Space Physics, now the Centre for Space Research (CSR), at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, located at Sanae (Antarctica), Hermanus, Potchefstroom, and Tsumeb (Namibia). Stoker managed them and was responsible for the data quality and dissemination until 2017 at an age of 90 years. It was his lifelong dedication.
In 1959 the Potchefstroom group became part of research in Antarctica. Since 1964 they were formally involved in research in the South African National Antarctic Programme SANAP). Stoker was program director of the Antarctic research program on cosmic rays 1963 – 1996. In 1994 he received the BP medal for Antarctic research. In 2009 an Antarctic meeting decided to rename the departure hall of the SA Agulhas to Pieter Stoker.

With the establishment of the SA Institute of Physics (SAIP) in 1955, PH Stoker was one of the Founding Members who signed the attendance register. He was on the council of the SAIP from 1969 to 1997, as vice-president 1973-1975, and as president 1975- 1979. Persons were elected for two-year terms. Stoker also received various prestigious awards, including the De Beers Gold Medal in 1992 by the SAIP for outstanding research and the S2A3 Gold Medal in 1997 for his outstanding scientific contribution, both locally and internationally.
Source: South African Institute of Physics.

Prof Stoker also served as the Dean of the then Faculty of Natural Sciences on the NWU Potchefstroom Campus from 1977 to 1982. He was a mentor, colleague and friend to many and will be greatly missed within the NWU community. 
The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences give condolences to Prof Stoker’s family.