The College of Science honors the memory of Dr. James Andrew Roberts, a beloved and longtime professor of Physics at the University of North Texas, who passed away on Thursday, November 7, 2019. Dr. Roberts began his career here in 1967, and over the years received numerous recognition awards for his work, most recently including the 50 Year Service Award in the UNT Physics Department in 2017.
In his incredible 52-year tenure on this campus, Dr. Roberts personally influenced and inspired thousands of UNT students and colleagues alike, and mentored many Masters and doctoral students to success. His dedication to the advancement of science led him to serve for over thirty years as the Project Director for the University of North Texas Collaborative Group for the Texas Regional Collaborative for Excellence in Science Teaching.
As a professor and researcher in the UNT Physics Department, Dr. Roberts conducted extensive studies and published many papers on microwave spectroscopy. He and his collaborators even discovered an overlooked second order phase transition of liquid water.
"I am saddened to learn the passing of Dr. Jim Roberts," said Dean Gao. "Dr. Roberts devoted his entire professional career to physics research and to the education of UNT students. He loved UNT and his students so much that he never considered retiring from the job he had so much passion for. He will be dearly missed by his colleagues and friends here in the Physics department, the College of Science, and the University of North Texas."
Dr. Roberts was born in West Columbia, Texas on June 2, 1932. Prior to attending college, Dr. Roberts served in the Air Force from 1950-1954. He graduated from Louisiana Tech with a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Physics. He received a Ph.D. in Engineering Physics from the University of Oklahoma.
He is preceded in death by both his parents Frank Roberts and Jewel McWhorter Roberts. James is survived by his one and only loving wife of 64 years, Patricia, his children Kimberlea R. (Michael) De La Cruz from Houston, Judi R. (Brian) Frizzell from Lewisville, his grandchildren Christina F. Barrientos(Cesar) from Carrollton, and Laura De La Cruz(Joey Canicatti) from Houston, and his great grandchildren Jordan Foust, Lennox Barrientos, and Catalina Barrientos.