10/11/1996 07:00:00

Caltech Geologist Elected to Chinese Academy of Sciences

PASADENA— Peter Wyllie, professor of geology at the California Institute of Technology, has been elected a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

Wyllie was elected at this summer's eighth general assembly meeting. As a member, Wyllie will be eligible to participate in the next general assembly in 1998. In August, he was also appointed an honorary professor at the China School of Geosciences in Beijing.

Wyllie is currently in the second of his four-year term as president of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics. He is the first American to head the IUGG since 1967.

An internationally known authority on the formation of igneous rocks (those formed when molten lava cools), Wyllie has conducted research on the granites that form the core of mountain ranges such as the Sierra Nevada, on the transport of diamonds to the earth's surface, on carbonatites that are mined for fertilizers, and on rare-earth elements that are used for superconductors.

A native of Great Britain, Wyllie was the heavyweight boxing champion of the Royal Air Force in Scotland after World War II, and is a graduate of Saint Andrews University in Scotland. He has been on the Caltech faculty since 1983, when he served a term as chairman of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences.

Written by Robert Tindol