William Lowrie was elected professor of geophysics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1974, where he taught and researched until his retirement in 2004. His research activity involved interpreting the Earth's magnetic field in the geological past from the magnetizations of dated rocks. The results were applied to the solution of geologic-tectonic problems, and to analysis of the polarity history of the geomagnetic field. He has authored 135 scientific articles, and his books include Fundamentals of Geophysics and A Student's Guide to Geophysical Equations. He has been president of the European Union of Geosciences (1987–9), and section president and council member of the American Geophysical Union (1998–2002). Lowrie was elected as a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 1990 and a member of the Academia Europaea in 2000.
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