Physics was one of the founding disciplines when Simon Fraser University began operations over forty years ago in 1965. In 1964, Dr. Rudy Haering was appointed as the founding Head of the Department of Physics; a position he held until 1968. In order to achieve the “critical mass” necessary for the young department to earn international recognition, Dr. Haering chose to hire in the area of condensed matter physics. By September 1965, he managed to have in place a group of nine faculty which included himself, John Cochran, Konrad Colbow, Richard Enns, Robert Frindt, David Huntley, Chuck Irwin, Klaus Rieckhoff and K.S. Viswanathan. The steady growth of the University permitted the Department to continue hiring through the 1970s and 1980s. To make itself attractive in a tight hiring market, the Department continued to concentrate on only one research area - condensed matter physics – and over the decades this research group grew into one of the largest and strongest groups of its kind in Canada.