Internationally Renowned Geoscientists Recieve Honorary Doctorate From ITU

by İTÜ | Nov 18, 2019
Honorary Doctorate diplomas were presented to Prof. John F. Dewey, Prof. Dan McKenzie and Prof. Xavier Le Pichon by Istanbul Technical University for their contributions in the development of science and technology in geoscience in the world and our nation.

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Honorary Doctorate diplomas were presented to Prof. John F. Dewey, Prof. Dan McKenzie and Prof. Xavier Le Pichon by Istanbul Technical University for their contributions in the development of science and technology in geoscience in the world and our nation.

Prof. Dan McKenzie from Cambridge University, Prof. John F. Dewey from Oxford University and Prof. Xavier Le Pichon from College de France were presented with Honorary Doctorate for their contributions in the development of science and technology in geoscience in the world and our nation.

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An award for 40 years of collaboration

During his speech at the opening ceremony Rector Karaca said “ Professors Dewey, Le Pichon and McKenzie have honored our university by accepting the Honorary Doctorate title, hereby including their names to the those of our alumni, are among the most significant geoscientists alive for their research and support in Turkey and our university.

They exist in many scientific researches with many ITU academics and students.  They have begun several projects in Turkey, procured funding, thus scientifically developing our nation substantially in the field of geology.  It is for these reasons we are presenting the Honorary Doctorate title to these names with whom we have been working with for a very long time, and by way making our ties of over 40 years official.

The Honorary Doctorate diplomas were presented Rector Karaca. 

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Dan McKenzie

Professor Dan McKenzie of Cambridge University is one of the most prominent earth scientists of the world with his significant studies and achievements. McKenzie, who is a laureate of the Crafoord Prize, which is deemed to be the Nobel Prize of Earth Sciences, undertook significant research regarding the emergence of plate tectonics, comparative movements of the plates and the reasons behind such movements. Following the discovery of plate tectonics by Tuzo Wilson in 1965, McKenzie showed in 1967 that it indeed worked on a sphere and his Nature article is recognized as one of the most significant tests of Tuzo Wilson’s theory. Later on, McKenzie focused his studies on continents and his seismological studies provided evidence regarding the challenges in applying the rules of plate tectonics to continental deformation. These studies have vital importance for the understanding of Turkey’s neotectonics.

McKenzie, who has spent his whole academic life at Cambridge, conducted his doctoral studies with the famous geophysicist Sir Edward C. Bullard and still continues his research at Bullard Laboratories in Cambridge. McKenzie, who was awarded by the Order of the Companions of Honour by Queen Elisabeth II, contributed very greatly to our understanding of Turkey’s geology with his remarkable studies. He was also a friend of Professor İhsan Ketin and knew Sırrı Erinç personally.

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Xavier Le Pichon

Xavier Le Pichon, is one of the architects behind the theory of plate tectonics, a revolution of the 20th century in geology. Le Pichon is one of the four geologists that contributed substantially in establishing the theoretical basis of plate tectonics with his foundation publication, which he wrote in 1968. Moreover, Le Pichon also carried out studies on the Alpine Belt, and contributed significantly in particular to understanding the last 180 million years of evolutions of the Alpides. He also, along with his colleagues from France, in particular the late Jacques Angelier, revealed the dynamic foundations of the tectonics of the Aegean region. Le Pichon’s close relationship with Turkey and ITU in fact begun after the 1999 earthquakes, when he came to Turkey immediately after the earthquake and visited the earthquake area with Prof. Celal Şengör. He proposed putting into use immediately the opportunity that the earthquake created to study the North Anatolian Fault, which continued under the Sea of Marmara. In the year 2000, he along with Celal Şengör organised the cruise of the Le Suroit research vessel and mapped the floor of the Marmara Sea at a scale of 1/50.000 Le Pichon has played a major role in making the Sea of Marmara currently the world’s geologically best known inland sea.

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John F. Dewey

Professor John F. Dewey from the University of Oxford, is a leading researcher in application of plate tectonics to geology. As soon as the theory of plate tectonics evolved, Dewey has become the most prominent researcher in testing the congruity of the theory with the details of geology. His studies on explaining the Caledonian/Appalachian system in the framework of plate tectonics theory was one of the very first geological models of orogenic belts that used plate tectonics as a basis. While studying this system, Dewey noticed the importance of oceanic litospheric pieces obducted onto continents, known as ophiolitics, and published fundamental and leading articles on ophiolitics.

Dewey shifted his research interest to the Alpide System and provided the basis for further research by undertaking the first detailed interpretation of Alpides around the Mediterranean in the framework of plate tectonics. The kinematic complexity of the Alpides directed him to re-examine the kinematic fundamentals of plate tectonics and in 1975, Dewey published his fundamental kinematic article. John Dewey’s relations with Turkey started in 1973 with his Alpides article and his first direct contact was through his student Celal Şengör. Dewey was also a close friend of Professor İhsan Ketin. He also knew Sırrı Erinç and Ozan Sungurlu personally. As part of his Turkish studies, Dewey examined the North Anatolian Fault south of the Sea of Marmara in the company of Professor Sırrı Erinç in the field and also the vast East Anatolian Plateau with Turkish geologists headed by Fuat Şaroğlu.

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