PULLMAN, Wash. — Kelvin Lynn, director of the Center for Materials Research at Washington State University, has been elected a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The prestigious honor is given for significant contributions to the advancement of science and requires election by peers in the association. The organization publishes the journal Science and has more than 138,000 members.

Lynn joined WSU in 1996 to direct the MRC, and he holds the Boeing Chair in Advanced Materials. Lynn, a Fellow of the American Physical Society, is world-renowned for his “positron annihilation” research. He obtained a doctoral in Materials Science in 1974 from the University of Utah and spent 22 years at Brookhaven National Lab as a senior physicist and head of the Materials Science Division. In recognition of his pioneering work in the design of positron beams, he received a Department of Energy Award in 1985 in Sustained Outstanding Research. He has recently expanded his interests to laser crystals and wide band gap semiconductors.

In 2000, WSU received a $1.1 million grant to build an antimatter-physics research laboratory, on which Lynn is the lead researcher. The grant was the university’s first from the W.M. Keck Foundation, which is noted for funding innovative projects with potential for breakthrough scientific discoveries. Research with particles of antimatter, called positrons, probes the basic interactions and properties of matter and has broad potential applications ranging from the development of a new generation of materials, such as high-quality computer microchips to detecting atomic size defects in thin layers or surfaces of materials. Such research helps advance the development of microelectronics, semiconductors and composites. Other antimatter research is aimed at solving puzzles of galactic proportions such as positron annihilations in interstellar gas or new states of matter.