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International Groups Taking Notice of UT Materials Research Center

In the ten years since its founding, the Scintillation Materials Research Center in UT’s Tickle College of Engineering has become one of the world’s leading centers for the discovery, development, and application of scintillators—materials that emit light when in the presence of radiation, providing a valuable detection method.

The people behind some of those innovations are gaining recognition as well, with three of the center’s members receiving invitations to address three different international conferences in January.

“With the timing of all three invitations and the recognition involved coming together like this in a single month, that just doesn’t happen that often,” said Chuck Melcher, director of the SMRC and research professor of materials science and engineering. “It’s great recognition of the work being done at UT and of the respect for the SMRC from the community in this field around the world.”

Melcher will be speaking about scintillator design at the International Symposium on Radiation Detectors in Tsukuba, Japan.

Mariya Zhuravleva, a member of the center and an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, recently returned from Sendai, Japan, where she delivered an address on crystal growth of scintillators to the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Completing the trio, Merry Koschan, a research associate in the SMRC, will speak at the National Seminar on Crystal Growth and Applications in Mumbai, India, on the development of LSO, a type of crystal previously developed by the UT researchers.

That event is being held in conjunction with the Material Research Society of India and Indian Association for Crystal Growth conference.

While being invited to speak at any event is an honor, the fact that the three have been invited by some of the leading international conferences in their field serves to highlight the respect for the work being done at the SMRC and the nature of the advancements they have made.

“We appreciate the opportunity to address these conferences,” said Melcher, “and we welcome the opportunity to further increase UT’s visibility in this field.”

Melcher pointed out that the nature of the conferences reflected the key strengths of the center’s research: medical imaging and homeland security.

He pointed out that the two have more in common than most might think, with high-resolution imagery being key for both, adding that the work the center does directly helps improve those capabilities.


David Goddard (865-974-0683, [email protected])