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Wyllie, Peter John (Geologist)



  • Existence: 1930 - 2222


Background: Caltech Professor, 1983-1999; Chairman, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, 1983-1987; Professor Emeritus, 1999-.


Description: Peter Wyllie was born in London in 1930 and raised there. He attended university at St. Andrews in Scotland, where he received his BSc (physics and geology) in 1955 and his PhD (geology) in 1958. He is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate from St. Andrews. While a student at St. Andrews, Wyllie participated competitively in sports, notably, rugby and boxing. In 1952-54 he served as geologist to the British North Greenland Expedition. In 1956 he made his first visit to the US to work in F. Tuttle's program in high-pressure research in experimental petrology at Penn State.

Wyllie returned to England and took up a position at Leeds University in 1959, but in 1961 he came back to Penn State, and remained in the US permanently after that. He taught at the University of Chicago beginning in 1965, then came to Caltech in 1983 as Chairman of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences. He continued his research in experimental petrology of magmas and volatile components under high-pressure conditions, while developing the earth sciences curriculum at Caltech. He is a member of several scientific societies around the world and has served as an officer in a number of professional organizations, including vice-president and president of the International Mineralogical Association (1982 and 1986) and vice-president and president of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (1991 and 1995). He is the recipient of several major awards by mineralogical and geological societies, among them the Roebling Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America in 2001. Wyllie is married to Romy Wyllie, who is an art and architectural historian and an expert in decorative arts.


Collection Notes: Oral history, 2002. This 120-page oral history conducted by Shirley K. Cohen broadly covers Wyllie's personal and professional career.

Found in 9 Collections and/or Records:

Airtalk: The Caltech Edition

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1990-00224

Airtalk: The Caltech Edition

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1990-00225

AirTalk with Jacqueline Dixon and Peter Wyllie

 Digital Record
Identifier: 2018-02-01-000006

AirTalk with Jacqueline Dixon and Peter Wyllie, 1990-08-15

Scope and Contents From the Collection: The collection is divided according to the recording type: audio and video then ordered chronologically. Each recording includes an interview with either Caltech faculty, administrators, staff, students, alumni, JPL scientists or administrators. It also includes features such as Caltech Almanac -a detailed look at some of the many interesting people, places and discoveries in Caltech’s history-, Caltech Calendar -a listing of upcoming public events on campus- and Caltech in the News....
Dates: 1990-08-15

Continental Drift-Greenland & Husky Dogs

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 1989-00410

Peter Wyllie

 File — Box Z39: Series II
Identifier: Z39

Additional filters:

Unprocessed Material 4
Archival Object 4
Digital Record 1
Geology 5
AirTalk 3
Historical File 1
Oceanography 1
Watson Lecture 1