The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.

Memorial

Robert S. Tickle
LSA Minutes

Robert S. Tickle
July 31, 1930 — July 4, 2000

It is with great sadness that the Physics Department notes that Professor Emeritus, Robert Tickle passed away on July 4, 2000. Professor Tickle had recently retired from the Department after nearly 40 years of service to the University.

A native of Virginia, Bob, as he was known to his friends, graduated in 1952 with an appointment as a lieutenant from the West Point Military Academy. He then served in the U.S. Army as a tank commander from 1952 to 1956, including combat duty in the Korean conflict. Bob then returned to the U.S. and received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from the University of Virginia. He joined the Physics Department at U of M as an instructor in 1960, was appointed Assistant Professor in 1961, received tenure as Associate Professor in 1964 and was promoted to full professor in 1968. Professor Tickle, during his many years of service, served on numerous University, LSA and Departmental Committees and in particular he served as Associate Chair for the Physics Department Undergraduate Program from 1992 to 1995.

Professor Tickle was a major contributor to the design and construction of the cyclotron built in the early 1960s on North Campus. This accelerator incorporated many innovative features and was the first to demonstrate high-resolution nuclear spectroscopy using a cyclotron. Many of those innovations are now incorporated in most modem cyclotrons, including those used in medical research. He also participated in the development of the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) nearby at Michigan State University, serving as a member of the Users Group Executive Committee, 1983-86 (Chair 1984-85). During the period from 1976 until his retirement he participated in a number of experiments at the Indiana University Cyclotron Facility as well at the NSCL and elsewhere.

Bob was an excellent teacher, especially in the large Undergraduate Introductory Physics courses. This is best summarized by some student comments:

"I loved Professor Tickle, he was awesome!",
"Professor Tickle was a great professor."
"Professor Tickle is informative and entertaining at the same time. I actually wanted to go to class."
"...he was entertaining and informative, a rarity!"
"Professor Tickle was excited by what he was teaching and showed enthusiasm in his lectures." "...is one of if not THE best Prof. I've ever had."
"I actually enjoyed the lecture! Who thought that Physics could be fun?"

Prior to and following his retirement from U of M, Bob served several years as the elected Supervisor for Scio Township. In this period he dealt with several important community issues and, as usual, handled them with expertise and, often, good humor. In recognition of his public service, the new Scio Township Village Hall has been named in his honor.

Bob's colleagues, both inside and outside the University, and the many thousands of former students he taught will remember his wit, his charm, his modesty and yet his excellence in both research and teaching.

Professor Tickle is survived by his wife, Candace Friedman, and his son.