Seminar Series

Rocketman - The Story of William H Pickering


Dr John Campbell, Adjunct Fellow


Physics & Astronomy Department, University of Canterbury.

Time & Place

Fri, 28 Jul 2017 11:00:00 NZST in Rutherford 531, Level 5

All are welcome


Gillian Ashurst's 45 minute documentary of Bill Pickering is on Air New Zealand inflight entertainment for the next 5 months. This will be a chance for those not flying internationally to view this documentary.

Bill, from Havelock, Wellington College, Canterbury College (Eng intermediate), when director of Cal Tech's Jet Propulsion Lab, led the USA's deep space exploration to the Moon, Venus, and Mars. A fuller biography is at under Other Places - Havelock.

John Campbell, who appears in the documentary covering Bill's early years, will show the DVD and talk about it.


All Welcome


John Campbell is a retired lecturer in the Physics and Astronomy Department, his research interests include:-

  • Rutherford biographer
  • Defect modes in doped crystals
  • Spectroscopy of uranium ions in alkaline earth halides
  • Growth of single crystals; fluorite, ruby, LaF3 , quartz
  • Communicating science to the public
  • Firewalking
  • Vacuum technology
  • Colour in nature
  • Marine archaeology