Zbigniew Stanislaw Basinski, physicist (born 28 April 1928 in Wolkowysk, Poland; died 12 August 1999). Recognized as the doyen of Canadian metal physics, he received the BSc, MA, DPhil and DSci degrees from Oxford, at the same time holding the post of research assistant in the department of metallurgy. From 1954 to 1956 he was a staff member at the Oxygenic Engineering Laboratories, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He joined the National Research Council's division of physics in 1956, and in 1974 headed the Material Physics Section. Sabbaticals took him to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as a Ford distinguished visiting professor of metallurgical engineering; to Oxford as a Commonwealth visiting professor of metallurgy and materials science, and a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford; and to the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, England, as an overseas fellow at Churchill College. In 1987 he joined McMaster University as research professor and was associated with its Brockhouse Institute of Materials Research. In 1993 he became emeritus professor of materials science at McMaster.
Basinski's research in metal physics has earned him national and international acclaim, particularly his work on the mechanics and thermodynamics of plasticity in metals (including work hardening, solution hardening and fatigue) and his contributions to instrumentation and observational techniques (in low-temperature measurements, transmission and scanning electron microscopy). In 1977 he became the first recipient of the Canadian Metal Physics Medal awarded annually for outstanding service to metal physics.
He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Society of London, and in 1986 was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is author of more than 70 reviews and original papers.