QMA-2019 – Round-up

QMA-2019, a MAS Topical Conference, was a yet another rousing success.  Meeting at the University of Minnesota with one day of tutorials and three days of talks, there was something for everyone in the X-ray microanalysis community.  The program is still available here (low res/high res.) Day one was filled with vendor tutorials from Cameca, JEOL, NCI Micro, Hitachi, Electron Microscopy Sciences, Mager Scientific, ThermoFisher, Oxford Instruments, Bruker, Probe Software, SPI Supplies, ibss Group, and EDAX followed by an opening reception in the magnificent Northrop Hall.  Day two was dedicated to best practices in wavelength spectrometry;  day three to best practices in energy dispersive spectrometry; and the final day to XRF and cathodoluminescence.    The banquet on Wednesday night was enjoyed by all but particularly those who were fortunate enough to merit additional drink tickets.  Cheer and goodwill reigned particularly on the 4th floor deck overlooking the campus quad.

Most important of all, through the generosity of the NSF, MAS, our corporate sponsors and the IUMAS we were able to offer financial support to 35 Early Career Scholars.   This program encourages students, post-docs and early career professionals to attend MAS Topical Conferences and other events.  Along with the Goldstein Scholar Program, this program demonstrates the MAS’ commitment to building the next generation of microanalysts.

Thanks to University of Minnesota and Anette von der Handt for hosting the event, to Heather Lowers and the full organizing committee for building the strong program and taking care of every detail.  ‘Til we meet again in Portland at M&M 2019

QMA 2019 Program now available online!

The QMA 2019 Topical conference is now only a couple of weeks away. If you are attending the meeting, please make sure you have registered (here) and let us know your food preferences for the banquet (yum!). We also strongly encourage you to support our wonderful sponsors by signing up to attend the User group meetings on Monday (link).

The full program can be dowloaded now too:

High-resolution: here (62MB)

Low-resolution: here (12MB)

(We recommend that you right-click and save the program guide to your computer).

Announcing the Inaugural Class of MAS Fellows

Last year, the Microanalysis Society initiated the MAS Fellow program to recognize eminent scientists, engineers, and technologists in the field of microanalysis of materials and related phenomena who have distinguished themselves through outstanding research and service to the microanalysis community. This includes, but is not limited to technique development, applications, theory development, and distinguished service to the society. Election as a MAS Fellow will be highly selective but should represent a broad cross-section of the MAS membership. They are selected by a review committee from among those nominated by their peers, and then confirmed by the Executive Council.

In 2018, the first class of “Legend Fellows” was recognized.  This class consisted the very most distinguished members of the community who through decades of involvement in the field and with the society could be considered to be “legends” in the field of microanalysis.

In 2019, the second class of fellows is being recognized under the title of “Inaugural Fellows.”  This class consists of the following members:

  • Ian Anderson
  • Phil Batson
  • Paul Carpenter
  • Bill Chambers
  • John Donovan
  • Vinayak Dravid
  • Ray Egerton
  • John Fournelle
  • Hamish Fraser
  • Raynald Gauvin
  • Paul Hlava
  • Thomas Huber
  • Michael Jercinovic
  • Cathy Johnson
  • Thomas Kelly
  • Paul Kotula
  • Charles Lyman
  • John Mansfield
  • Joseph Michael
  • Inga Musselman
  • Nicholas Ritchie
  • John Henry Scott
  • John Small
  • Ed Vicenzi
  • Masashi Watanabe
  • Valerie Woodward

A full list of all MAS fellows can be found here.

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.