Renaissance Man

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Renaissance Man

I had a wonderfully-fortunate upbringing, and I attribute a great deal of who I am today to my parents and their parents.

Reinhold Kaiser, my maternal grandfather, or as I called him: Opa
Opa posing with Canada’s first Nuclear Magnetic Resonance instrument
Continuing to look good with the NMR

My maternal grandfather, or Opa as his grandchildren called him, was a highly-analytical, incredibly smart, and successful man. I attribute my love for logic and reasoning to the influence of this enigmatic figure in my life. It was, unfortunately, after his passing that the weight of his contributions to science, chemistry and physics in particular, were realised to me. He helped usher in an evolution in the way scientists were able to observe and understand small molecules by way of building Canada's first NMR instrument, for which he was recognised in Professor Richard Ernst’s acceptance speech of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Robert Burnell, my paternal grandfather, or as I called him: Grandpapa; Chris Burnell (that’s me!); and Jean Burnell (my father) in 1993