The Microanalysis Community Loses Some Magic

MIT’s first microprobe built by R. Ogilvie’s students (left-to-right ?, Flanagan, Ogilvie, Nixon, ?, Colby, ?, Ziebold)

John Colby passed away in March. I first met John in 1969 when I was at RPI in graduate school working with our MAC probe. I had heard about MAGIC, a computer ZAF correction program coming out of Bell Laboratories, then in Allentown PA, and contacted John, its author, to ask for a copy on punch cards to run on our IBM 360. He readily complied, and that was a start of what turned out to be a long friendship and occasional business relationship. John was lured away from Bell Labs by Kevex Corporation a few years later, and soon John and his MAGIC put Kevex firmly on the map, most notably in Japan, where he became very appreciative of the Japanese culture and collected many Japanese artifacts. John and I had the opportunity to work together for a brief time at PGT (now Bruker) and then later with his new EDS quant program called FLAME, based loosely on Fuzzy Logic and incorporated by Scott Davilla as part of the 4Pi EDS package. Later John developed SLICE, a very clever EDS database search and match program done with FBI funding under the auspices and in close cooperation with Dennis Ward, a chemist and SEM expert working in Quantico.

John and I had some very good times together, and I would often meet up with him when he and his wife Susan, who survives him, lived in Foster City (CA). At that time, I had started Peak Instruments and was visiting Silicon Valley frequently, seeking and supporting customers using the Peak Spectrometer for the analysis of borophosphosilicate glass (BPSG), a dielectric layer used in chip technology. John and I would often finish our dinner with a nice cigar. I remember one instance, when we were enjoying a cigar together on a bench in Palo Alto, during which we learned from two policemen in a cruiser, lights flashing, that smoking anywhere in Palo Alto was against the law. Fortunately, they let us off with just a warning.

John was a prolific software creator and an accomplished algorithm developer. John was one of the founders of the Microanalysis society and one of the contributing authors on the first “Goldstein book”, which has become a bible for electron beam microanalysis. Later, he became somewhat of a maverick in the scientific microanalysis community, seldom publishing and letting slide his associations with other elite developers in the field. Possibly because of this, John may not be well known among the current MAS and EMSA memberships. Just last year, however, John was recognized for his contributions to electron beam microanalysis by being made a fellow of MAS.

I am sure I can speak for Scott and Dennis when I say that I will miss J.W. Colby, the stubborn man with the very creative mind, and know that the Microanalysis community has truly lost some magic.

Nick Barbi
nicholasbarbi@gmail.com

Money! Money! Money! (for scholars)

MAS is pleased to announce the call for applications for the Joseph Goldstein Scholar Award, sponsored by the Meteoritical Society and the publisher Springer. This new award is intended to promote career advancement for early career members of the Microanalysis Society, increase interactions of junior and established microanalysts, and to advance the state-of-the-art in microanalysis measurements. Activities eligible for the awards are: (1) travel costs for the Goldstein Scholar to visit a microanalysis facility to make measurements that advance the Goldstein Scholar’s skills and/or the state-of-the-art in microanalysis; (2) Travel costs / fees associated with attendance at a microanalysis school or training course, e.g., Lehigh Microscopy School, Hooke College of Applied Sciences, ASU, etc.. Up to five awards of up to $1000 each will be granted each year, with applications reviewed twice yearly in conjunction with the Winter and Summer Council Meetings. All MAS members who are less than 5 years beyond their terminal degree, and who have not received a Goldstein Scholar award within the prior 5 years, are eligible to apply. A one-time renewal for current awardees who need to make a return visit for additional measurements will be considered, in cases where this will have a clear impact on the results obtained, e.g., equipment failure on the first visit.

The deadline for applications is May 1st, 2019, and the results will be announced on June 15th, 2019. More information can be found here.

Election Results

President-elect – Heather Lowers

Please join me in congratulating our new and returning Executive Council members for 2019. Our incoming President Elect for January 2019-August 2020 is Heather Lowers. Elaine Schumacher will stay for a second term as Treasurer (2019-2020). The incoming directors are Donovan Leonard and Abigail Lindstrom (2019-2021). Many thanks to our two outgoing Directors, Vincent (Vin) Smentkowski and Julie Chouinard for their service to MAS over the last three years. In addition, the change to the By-Laws to clarify the annual audit requirement was approved.

Happy New Year,

Rhonda Stroud
MAS President

Welcome to the MAS’ New Website

Yoosuf, Abby, Emma, Nicholas and Anette at Comet Ping Pong (Yes, that Comet Ping Pong. I checked – no basement.)

Welcome to the new Microanalysis Society website.  Our previous site was 10 years old and had served us well but it was time to move on.  The web had changed.  More people are accessing sites from their mobile devices.  Secure HTTP (HTTPS://) has gone from being a nicety to a requirement.  There are the new European privacy requirements.  Finally, only a few people understood the Plone content management system that we used to administer the old site and the host company was getting unreliable.  For these and many other reasons, it was time to move on.

So welcome! Here we are. Thanks to the hard work of the Computer Activities Committee, we have a entirely new website.  Anette von der Handt, Emma Bullock, Yoosuf Picard, Abigail Lindstrom and Nicholas Ritchie got together at the Carnegie Institute of Washington for a weekend of intense weekend of website development (and a beer or two.)  During two long days of effort over 100 pages of content were ported from the old site to the new.  We carried over the important relationships with our Affiliated Regional Societies and the International Societies.  We carried over our formative documents. We carried over our society awards and the winners.  We carried over the event calendar.  We added some new content too.  There are new resources pages.

But we aren’t finished. The new site will continue to evolve over time to reflect the changing needs of the MAS membership. To that end, we encourage suggestions for new features and improved functionality.

In designing the new site, we tried to focus the needs of the membership.  We designed the navigation to bring forward the most used and useful parts of the site.  Now we can keep track of the numbers of people (anonymously) visiting the site and the pages they visit.  Try the site on your smart phone or tablet. Now that more people are accessing the web through mobile devices, it was important that the site will automatically reformat to fit your device.  Dan Ruscitto and the Social Media Committee is reinvigorating our Society’s social media presence.  Follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/MicrobeamSoc) or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/microbeamanalysis).  How can we serve you better?

As the members of a great, member driven society, this is our site. It becomes richer and more useful when we the members submit content. Send us your microanalysis-related images, articles and links of interest.  Together we can make the MAS a better, stronger and more vigorous professional society. Onward and upward!

Nicholas, Anette, Emma, Yoosuf & Abby
The MAS Computer Activities Committee

New President’s Address

Rhonda2Every two years at the end of the Wednesday night Business Meeting during the M&M meeting, a new President of the Microanalysis Society takes over the gavel and beads of office. This year in Baltimore it was my honor to receive those ceremonial tokens from Masashi Wantanbe. When I joined MAS in 2005, the thought of one day leading the society was not even remotely on my mind. I joined because I was asked, by two colleagues whom I knew and respected as experts in materials analysis. Like many in the microscopy community even today, at that time I was honestly a little confused about the different roles played by MAS and our sister society, MSA. But my colleagues needed a new addition to the MAS tour speaker roster, and they thought FIB-enabled coordinated TEM and SIMS analysis of supernova stardust was just the thing to interest the local societies. So I said, “Yes.”

Thirteen years later, the role of MAS in the microscopy and microanalysis community is much clearer to me. MAS is first and foremost a community of problem solvers. We are diverse in our backgrounds, with degrees in materials science, geology, physics, chemistry, biology and more. We are diverse in employment sector, hailing from universities, industrial laboratories, national labs, and commercial vendor corporations. We are united by our common goal of solving materials problems through microanalysis. Our wealth of expertise was prominently on display at this year’s M&M Plenary session, where for the first time MAS inducted society Fellows. There we honoured 28 Legends who, over the first fifty years of the society’s history, pioneered the methods we now all rely on for our microanalysis solutions: WDS, EDS, XRF, SIMS, EELS, FIB and more. Imagine for a moment trying to solve a problem in catalysis, or microelectronics, or art conservation, or planetary materials or pharmaceutical development without applying at least one of those techniques. The ability to obtain answers and provide solutions for materials problems across so many disciplines and applications is exactly our strength and purpose as a society.

Looking to the future, the prospects for the Microanalysis Society over the next fifty years are strong. Our membership numbers are growing (over 550), and our financial position is robust (over $500K in assets). This year MAS leadership will focus on providing even better value to our current and future members. We will expand popular initiatives, such as the Meal with a Mentor Lunch, which brings senior society members to together with student members to discuss microanalysis career options over lunch following the M&M Plenary Session. We will modernize our member communications with more extensive social media outreach, a modern website, and easier “one-stop-shopping” member renewal on the joint MAS-MSA member portal. I hope that each member finds more ways to be engaged with MAS that fit their individual goals and expertise, whether through contributing to micronanalysis-focused symposia at M&M, participating in a Topical Conference (QMA-2019!), applying for a Goldstein Scholar Early Career Fellowship, or even serving as a host and mentor to Goldstein Scholar. MAS is a society of problem solvers, and each member is part of the solution. Thank you to all those who have contributed to making MAS as vibrant a community as it is today. I look forward to seeing you in Portland next summer, if not before.

Sincerely,

Rhonda M. Stroud
MAS President