A professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison until September 2001, Tom Kelly founded Imago Scientific Instruments to commercialize the atom-probe microscope – a technology that enables researchers to analyse materials such as computer chips at the atomic scale. His invention, the Local Electrode Atom Probe (LEAP), captures an atom-by-atom “picture” of a material and renders that image on a computer screen in 3D.
Thomas F. Kelly received a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering with highest honors from Northeastern University in 1977 and a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. He joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in January 1983, becoming a Full Professor in 1994. Tom served as Director of the Materials Science Center from 1992 to 1999.
Tom Kelly has been active in the fields of microscopy and microanalysis, and their applications to rapidly solidified, electronic, and superconducting materials for over 30 years. He has published over 125 papers and 6 patents in these fields over this period. Dr. Kelly is an authority on microstructural characterization. He is expert in most methods and techniques of transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and atom probe microscopy and has brought innovations to their instrumentation and practice. Tom has served as a Director of the Microscopy Society of America. He is currently President of the International Field Emission Society.