Cynthia Phillips

Obituary of Cynthia Phillips

Cynthia Kieras Phillips, 61, of Princeton died Tuesday, September 1, 2015 at the University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro after a long illness. Born in Holyoke, Mass., she was raised in Chicopee, Mass. She moved to NJ in 1982 and was a resident of Rocky Hill and Kingston before moving to Princeton in 1991. Daughter of the late Henry and Elizabeth (Slesinski) Kieras, she is survived by her husband Michael W. Phillips, a son Benjamin H. Phillips, two brothers Philip H. and Michael L. Kieras and a sister Audrey M. Kieras. Cynthia had a lifelong passion for science, physics, and astronomy. After graduating from Chicopee High School in 1972, she studied physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a Bachelors of Science in 1976. She continued her studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison earning a Masters Degree in physics in 1977 and a PhD in 1982 specializing in radio frequency heating of plasmas. After university, Cynthia devoted her professional life to the advancement of fusion energy science. She started research at Princeton University in 1983 and went on to become a Principal Research Physicist at the Plasma Physics Laboratory and Lecturer with rank of Professor in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences. She loved teaching and mentoring graduate students and postdocs. An active leader and contributor to the radio frequency physics community, she was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2005. She was an APS-DPP Distinguished Lecturer, 2001-2002, and a member of Sigma Xi. Throughout life, Cynthia was known for her intellect, wit, and kindness. You could always count on her frank opinion and keen sense of humor. She was especially devoted to her family and loved to cook. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11:00 am on Tuesday, September 8, 2015, at St. Paul's Church 214 Nassau Street, Princeton. Burial will follow in the Princeton Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.
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