WSU physicist named Fellow of the AAAS

Washington State University physicist J. Thomas Dickinson was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this week.

A member of the AAAS physics section, Dickinson was cited for “fundamental contributions to understanding the underlying mechanisms involved in fracture, tribology and laser interactions with materials.”

Dickinson was the first director of the WSU Center for Materials Research and is recognized internationally for his contributions in both laser research and nanotribology. He holds the Paul A. Anderson Professorship in Physics and was named a Regents Professor in 2004. He is also a recipient of the WSU Distinguished Faculty Address Award, the President’s Faculty Excellence Award in Research, the College of Sciences Distinguished Research Faculty Award, the Westinghouse Faculty Award in Materials Science and the Thomas Lutz Teaching Excellence Award.

For more than 30 years, Dickinson has been continuously funded in applied surface science and currently has two major Department of Energy grants, one grant from the National Science Foundation and two teaching-related grants. He is co-principal investigator on additional grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health.

He is praised for his teaching and mentoring of students at all levels. Dickinson frequently involves undergraduate students in his research, which has led to publications for many of these students. In 2002 he won the Marian E. Smith Faculty Achievement Award in recognition of his teaching. He is a member of the WSU Teaching academy where he is focusing on improving the WSU Undergraduate Research experience.

The breadth and importance of Dickinson’s research is described in more than 300 articles and book chapters that he authored or co-authored. He has presented hundreds of invited talks on his work in materials physics and chemistry, including 16 Gordon Research Conference presentations. He has chaired five Topical Symposia of the American Physical Society and chaired three Gordon conferences. He has co-chaired the International Conference on Laser Ablation and has guest lectured in Japan, Germany, Greece, Canada and Austria. He has lectured at two NATO Advanced Study Institutes on Laser Materials Interactions and Nanotechnology. Dickinson is also a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society, the premier society for surface science research and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

A member of the WSU faculty since 1968, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University and a master’s and doctorate degree from the University of Michigan. In 2003, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Western Michigan University.

The AAAS awarded the title of Fellow to 376 of its most distinguished members this year. “These individuals have been elevated to this rank because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished,” said the association. New Fellows will be honored during the annual AAAS meeting in St. Louis in February.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is the world’s largest general scientific society and is publisher of the journal Science. AAAS was founded in 1848, and the tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874.

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