Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015

In Memoriam: Retired Physics Professor Joseph Murphy

Joseph MurphyLongtime University of New Orleans Physics Professor Joseph Erric Murphy died last month after a nearly two-year battle with cancer. He was 72.

Murphy taught at University of New Orleans for close to 37 years until his retirement in May 2006. During that time, he served as department chairperson, associate vice chancellor of academic affairs and the acting dean of the College of Sciences.

“Some people are blessed with doing a job they love and that was my dad,” said son Joe Murphy, Jr., 49, who remembers sitting in on his father’s classes at UNO, where he said his father's enthusiasm for his work was evident.

Murphy was a member of the Acoustical Society of America, author of numerous books and publications related to physics and acoustics and a co-developer of ground-breaking technology in the area of ocean acoustics.

Over the course of his career, Murphy also consulted with a number of organizations and agencies including Boeing Aerospace, Martin Marietta, NASA and the John C. Stennis Space Center.

Joe Murphy said that one of his father’s joys in life was immersing himself in study, reading as much as he could about topics that he knew would inform his teaching. At UNO, Murphy developed a community of colleagues and lasting friendships that transcended his three decades at the school, his son said.

A New Orleans native, Murphy attended St. Louis Cathedral School, St. Aloysius High School and went on to obtain his bachelor and master’s degrees in science from Louisiana State University before receiving a doctorate from City College of New York.

Murphy died on Sept. 18 in Slidell. A memorial honoring Murphy’s life and memory will be held Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at La Pines Café, 1061 Robert Blvd., in Slidell.