Executive Council

The Executive Council consists of the elected representatives of the membership. According to the by-laws (Jan 2020 revision), “The Executive Council shall be composed of eleven (11) members: six Directors, one Commercial Director, and the following officers, the President, the President-Elect or Past-President, the Secretary, and the Treasurer.”

President (summer 2020- summer 2022)

Heather Lowers
PO BOX 25046
Denver CO 80225
president -at- the-mas.org

Heather joined MAS in 2001 as a student and continues as a regular member. She has served in the Society as Director, Secretary, and MicroNews editor, and is currently International Liaison. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology at Mount Union College, Alliance, OH (2000) and a Master’s Degree in Geochemistry from the Colorado School of Mines (2005). She specializes in microanalysis of rocks, minerals, and other materials from a wide variety of applications. As Director of the Denver Microbeam Laboratory, an analytical facility operated by the USGS Mineral Resources Program, she is responsible for a) developing and improving methods of electron beam microanalysis techniques as needed to address a broad range of earth science issues, b) work with colleagues to interpret the microanalysis data in the context of geologic processes, c) instruct scientists in the theory and operation of electron microbeam instruments and assist in data reduction, and d) development and maintenance of software for data reduction and operation of the electron microprobe and scanning electron microscope. While most of her research supports the Energy and Minerals USGS Mission areas, her knowledge of microanalysis and electron beam based instruments and software has allowed her to tweak existing methods, or create new methods to help collaborators in the Water, Climate and Land Use, Natural Hazards, and Ecosystems mission areas, and other Federal and State agencies such as US EPA, EPA National Enforcement Investigations Center (NEIC), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), US Public Health Service, FEMA, US Department of Justice, NASA, US Air Force, US Army, US Department of State, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, State of California, and the State of Colorado.

Past President (term: summer 2018- summer 2020)

Rhonda Stroud
Nanoscale Materials Section
Materials Science and Technology Division
Naval Research Laboratory
4555 Overlook Ave SW
Washington, DC 20375
Email: rhonda.stroud-at-nrl.navy.mil

Rhonda joined MAS in 2005. She has served MAS in multiple roles, as a Tour Speaker (2006,2017-), as a Director (2012-2014), as chair of the Strategic Planning Committee (2014-2017), and as President-Elect (2017-2018). She holds degrees in physics from Cornell (A.B. ’91) and Washington University in St. Louis (Ph.D. ’96). Her research expertise is in the coordinated analysis of synthetic and natural nanoscale materials, using electron, ion, and X-ray beam methods. As head of Nanoscale Materials Section at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, she maintains the DoD’s most advanced electron microscopy facility for basic research, including a Nion UltraSTEM 200-X and a JEOL 2200FS. Ongoing projects in her group include investigation of the cosmic recycling of dust from ancient stars into new solar systems and the development of functionalized nanomaterials for sensor and renewable energy applications. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Meteoritical Society. Asteroid 8468Rhondastroud was named by the IAU in her honor for her contributions to the understanding of planetary materials.


Patrick Camus
Director of Engineering
91 McKee Drive
Mahwah, NJ, 07430 USA
Email: Patrick.Camus-at-ametek.com

Patrick received a BS in 1981 (University of Pittsburgh) and a Ph.D. in 1986 (University of Pittsburgh), all in Materials Science and Engineering. He joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory (Oak Ridge, TN) as a post-doctoral scholar from 1986-1988. He worked at NBS/NIST (Gaithersburg, MD) from 1988-1990, moved to University of Wisconsin-Madison as Research Faculty with Thomas Kelly from 1990-1997. He worked for NORAN Instruments, now Thermo Fisher Scientific, as Applications Scientist from 1997-2013 in Madison, WI. He moved to EDAX (Mahwah, NJ) in 2013, now working as the Director of Engineering. He received the Erwin Mueller Young Scientist Award in 1988 from IFES. He has helped organize 3 IFES meetings and was the Sponsorship Director of IUMAS-6. Patrick had vast experience in applying APFIM to materials characterization of phase transformations on the nanometer scale. He then moved into EDS, WDS, and EBSD to assist customers with microanalysis characterization on a wide variety of inorganic materials. He now directs all of the microanalysis product development at EDAX.

Secretary (2023 – 2025)

Owen K. Neill
University of Michigan
1100 North University Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1005
E-mail: secretary -at- the-mas.org

Owen Neill holds a BA in Geology from Amherst College, a M.Sc. in Geology & Geophysics from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. From 2013-2017, he worked as a Research Associate at Washington State University’s Peter Hooper GeoAnalytical Laboratory. He is currently the manager of the Robert B. Mitchell Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory, part of the University of Michigan’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Treasurer (2021-2023)

Dave Tomlin
Senior Scientist
Azimuth Corporation
7427 Jordan Road
Lewisburg, OH 45338
E-mail: treasurer – at – the-mas.org

Dave Tomlin holds a BS in Chemistry (1985) and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry (1990) from Miami University, and was previously an NRC post-doctoral associate at the Naval Research Laboratory (1990-93). He is a Senior Scientist (1995-present) with Azimuth Corporation at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/RXAPA). His research interests are focused on utilizing optical, electron, and ion microscopes to investigate failures in semiconductor and electro-optic devices.

Commercial Director (2021 – 2023)

Steve Seddio
Applications Scientist
Thermo Fisher Scientific
5225 Verona Rd.
Fitchburg, WI 53711
Email: stephen.seddio-at-thermofisher.com

Steve has been a member of the MAS since 2011. He received his B.A. Degree (2007) in Planetary Sciences from the University of Rochester and his M.A. and Ph.D. (2013) in Earth and Planetary Sciences from Washington University in St. Louis. After a brief stint of crater counting on Ganymede, one of Jupiter’s moons, and Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons, his research interests shifted a bit closer to home and has mostly focused on studying evolved lunar lithologies using X-ray microanalysis. His favorite element is zirconium.

Steve is currently the WDS and EDS Product Specialist for Thermo Fisher Scientific in Madison, WI and helps customers optimize their analysis.

Director (2020 – 2022)

Michelle Thompson
Assistant Professor
Purdue University 
550 Stadium Mall Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907
Email: mthompson-at-purdue.edu

Michelle joined the faculty at Purdue University in August of 2018. Her research focuses on the study of returned samples from other planetary bodies such as the Moon and asteroids. She uses SEM, FIB, and TEM to study the microstructure and chemistry of planetary materials in order to understand their origin and evolution.

Michelle got her PhD in Planetary Science at the University of Arizona (Prof. Tom Zega) where she received the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship. After graduate school, she joined NASA Johnson Space Center as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow (Dr. Lindsay Keller) before moving to Purdue. She has been awarded a NASA Early Career Fellowship, the Microanalysis Society Postdoctoral Scholar Award, the Joseph Goldstein Scholar Award, and was a Microanalysis Society Meeting Scholar. She is a member of the Microanalysis Society, the Microscopy Society of America, and the Meteoritical Society.

William J. Bowman
Assistant Professor
University of California, Irvine
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Calit2 3419
4100 E Peltason Dr., Irvine, CA 92617
Email: will.bowman-at-uci.edu

Will joined the UCI faculty in April, 2019. His research focuses on understanding and developing oxide ceramics and nanomaterials for advanced electrochemical energy conversion and storage applications. The Bowman Lab performs materials synthesis, testing, and multiscale characterization primarily leveraging advanced electron microscopy.

He earned a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Arizona State University (Prof. Peter Crozier), before joining MIT at a Postdoctoral Associate in the Laboratory for Electrochemical Interfaces (Prof. Bilge Yildiz). During graduate school he was a Visiting PhD Student at ETH Zurich in the Electrochemical Materials Group (Prof. Jennifer Rupp).

He received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship, the NSF Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide Award, the ASU Doctoral Enrichment Fellowship, and the Microscopy Society of America Presidential Scholar Award. He is a member of the Microscopy Society of America, the Microanalysis Society of America, the Materials Research Society and the National Society of Black Engineers.

Director (2021 – 2023)

Angela Halfpenny
Murdock Research Laboratory

Department of Geological Sciences
Central Washington University
Ellensburg, WA, 98926
Email: angela.halfpenny -at- cwu.edu

Angela Halfpenny has been a member of MAS since 2018, after moving to the US. She earned a Masters degree in Earth Science (2002) and a Ph.D. in Structural Geology and Microscopy (2007) both at the University of Liverpool, UK. She then performed postdocs in economic geology at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia and at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Perth, Australia before becoming the Laboratory Manager for the Microscopy & Microanalysis Facility at Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

In February 2017, Angela moved to the United States to manage the Murdock Research Laboratory and joined Central Washington University’s Department of Geological Sciences. The Murdock Research Laboratory is a centralized analytical facility, which houses a variety of instruments including automated stage optical microscope, portable XRF, XRD, SEM with SE+BSE+CL+EBS+EBSD capabilities, ICP-OES, LA-ICP-MS, STA, IRMS, TOC, Picarro Isotope Analyzer, Clean Labs and sample preparation facilities.

Throughout her career, Angela has utilized advanced analytical instruments to explore the crystallography, mineralogy, chemistry and texture of rocks to determine their paragenesis. As manager of the Murdock Research Laboratory she teaches undergraduate and graduate level classes, supervises undergraduate and graduate level student’s research projects, supports and trains the independent instrument users, who are from a variety of disciplines including Geology, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Studies, Geography, and Anthropology. The lab also performs consultancy work for external clients and collaborations with scientists from other academic and government research institutions.

Angela also works on developing new ways to prepare samples and develops/improves methods to broaden the capabilities of the existing analytical instruments and improve coincident data collection allowing the same area to be analysed via multiple techniques to provide an improved interpretation.

Joshua Taillon
Material Data Scientist 

National Institute of Standards and Technology
325 Broadway, Boulder, CO, 80305, US
Email: joshua.taillon -at- nist.gov

Joshua Taillon is a Materials Research Engineer at NIST within the Office of Data and Informatics. Drawing on an extensive background in materials characterization, his professional interests lie at the intersection of microanalysis and data science, utilizing machine learning, AI, and state-of-the art signal/data processing techniques to better understand material systems.
He received his B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Cornell University in 2011, followed by his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2016, where his thesis involved using a myriad of microanalysis and microscopy techniques (EELS, EDS, EBSD, SIMS, etc. on TEM, SEM, and FIB platforms) to characterize microelectronic and alternative energy systems. He joined NIST as a postdoc in the Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Group, where he investigated the potential of compressed sensing strategies for accelerating EDS analysis. He believes strongly in the mission of educating the current and next generations of microanalysts in data science, analysis, and management, and has presented over 10 software tutorials to various audiences, including regular invitations to other institutions. He advocates for the use of open-source tools and analysis frameworks to democratize data analysis and promote reproducible science through open data access.

Director (2022 – 2024)

Assel Aitkaliyeva
Assistant Professor Nuclear Engineering Program  

Department of Materials Science & Engineering
University of Florida
100 Rhines Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
Email: aitkaliyeva -at- mse.ufl.edu

Assel Aitkaliyeva joined University of Florida in February 2017. Prior to joining UF, she held postdoc and staff scientist appointments at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). She still maintains a joint appointment with INL and frequently travels to INL to conduct microstructural characterization of irradiated nuclear fuels. Assel received her BS in Physics from Kazakh National University, MS in Nuclear Engineering and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Texas A&M University. Her current research interests are in nuclear fuels and materials, with emphasis on the effects of irradiation on materials using a range of microscopy (FIB, SEM, S/TEM, EPMA, etc.) and in-situ micro-mechanical testing techniques
Thomas Lam

Thomas Lam
Physical Scientist
Smithsonian Institution
4210 Silver Hill Rd.
Suitland, MD 20746
Email: LamT -at- SI.edu

Thomas joined MAS in 2014. Thomas has a BS (in 2004) and MS (in 2007) in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University. He received a PhD (in 2011) in Ceramics from Alfred University. During his PhD, Thomas also worked at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (2008-2011). After his PhD, Thomas completed a postdoc at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). At NIST, Thomas worked on projects developing methodologies to visualize and characterize 3D nanostructures. Thomas was a Sr. Research Specialist at the Electron Microscopy Core Facility at the University of Missouri from 2014-2015. At the University of Missouri, he worked with the students and faculty to apply electron microscopy (SEM, SEM EDS, Electron Beam Lithography, TEM, STEM EDS, STEM EELS and EFTEM) research to their projects. Thomas joined the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) in 2016. As a Physical Scientist, he applies his knowledge of material science and characterization skills of microscopy, SEM-EDS, cathodoluminescence (CL), or X-ray fluorescence (XRF) to contribute to the MCI Technical Studies team. Thomas has been involved with co-organizing and lead organizing cultural heritage topic symposiums for the Microscopy and Microanalysis Meetings in 2018 and 2021.