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John R. Clem papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 17/1/52

Scope and Content

This collection (1938 — 2003, undated) contains the publications, research, educational courses, biographical information, and seminars of John Clem. The research notes contain data from his notebooks on superconductors, high temperature/high energy particles, phonon and electron interaction as well as research on superconductivity. This collection contains his class notes from when he attended university classes at the University of Illinois. The collection includes materials from courses taught by Dr. Clem at Iowa State University.

The publications include reprints of Dr. Clem’s work as well as published materials by colleagues.


  • 1938 — 2003, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


John Richard Clem was born on April 24, 1938 in Waukegan, Illinois. He earned his B.S. (1960), M.S. (1962), and Ph.D. (1965) in physics from the University of Illinois.

Prior to coming to Iowa State University, Clem was a Research Associate (1965-1966) at the University of Maryland and a Visiting Research Fellow (1966-1967) at the Technical University in Munich. He joined the faculty of Iowa State University as an Assistant Professor (1967-1970) for the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Clem was promoted to Associate Professor (1970-1975) and Professor (1975-2001). He also held a joint position as a Senior Physicist (1967-2001) at the Ames Laboratory. Clem was the Chair (1982 -1985) of the Physics Department with a joint appointment. He was named Distinguished Professor in 1989.

Other appointments during his career include; Visiting Staff Member at Los Alamos National Laboratory (1971-1983), Consultant at Argonne National Laboratory (1971-1976), and a Fulbright Research Fellow Institute für Festkörperforschung in Germany (1974-1975). Also he served as a consultant (1982-1985) and a Visiting Scientist (1985-1986) to IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He was a consultant to both Allied - Signal Aerospace Company (1990-1992) and Underground Systems Inc.

(1992-1999). In he was a Visiting Professor (1992-1993) of Applied Physics at Stanford University and was a Visiting Scientist (1992-1993) at Electric Power Research Institute at Palo Alto, California. He has consulted for such corporations as American Superconductors Corporation, Pirelli Cable Corporation, and Los Alamos Laboratory.

Dr. Clem’s main area of research interest was electrodynamic behavior of current-carrying superconductors which include flux pinning, critical currents, flux flow, ac losses, noise, spiral and intersecting vortices instabilities, and surface and interface effects. Also his areas of specialty were integrated fields of study in; proximity effects, two and three-dimensional arrays of Josephson junctions with a focus on relating to high temperature superconductors and magnetic flux penetration into superconducting thin-film strips and disks.

The professional activities Dr. Clem was involved in are extensive and include; being a lecturer for 300 invited presentations, organizing superconductivity conferences, author of over 150 publications and scientific papers. Also he has been on the editorial board of numerous journals such as; Journal of Low Temperature Physics and Applied Superconductivity (1989 - 1996), Applied Superconductivity (1992 - 1999), AIP Virtual Journalism Applications of Superconductivity (2001), North American Board of Editors for Superconductor Science and Technology (2001 - 2005) and Physical Reviews

(2001 - 2005). He founded and wrote the High Tc Update newsletter and was Science Editor of Nota Bene.

He was a Fellow of American Physical Society, the Chair of Division of Condensed Matter (1994 -1995), and a member of American Association of University Professors (AAUP), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Iowa Section of American Association of Physics Teachers. Dr. Clem was inducted into the honorary societies of Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xu.

In his career he has won the distinguished awards of; Department of Energy’s Annual Award for Sustained Outstanding Research in Solid State Physics (1988), Applied Superconductivity Conference Special Award (1990), Iowa State University Teaching Award (1991), Phi Kappa Phi Centennial Medalist (1997) the Iowa State University Most Valuable Teacher (1999) and the Superconductivity Industry Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Clem holds a U. S patent on his superconductivity research.


22.27 Linear Feet (16 records center cartons, 3 document boxes, and 1 half-document box)


This collection is arranged into 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical information, 1938 — 2005 (chronologically)

Series 2: Research notes, 1958 — 2000, undated (chronologically)

Series 3: Course materials from classes taken at the University of Illinois, 1960 — 1966 (chronologically)

Series 4: Iowa State University course materials and Iowa State University related materials, 1967 — 2003 (chronologically)

Series 5: Correspondence, 1981 — 2003 (chronologically)

Series 6: Publications, 1980 — 2004, undated (chronologically)

Series 7: Seminars, workshops, lectures and presentations, 1971 — 2000, undated (chronologically)

Series 8: Research Publications by Others, 1959-1999 undated (chronologically)

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 17/1/52. John R. Clem papers, 1938 — 2003, undated
April 2, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672