On February 16th, 2023, CMMS and NIST held a joint 1-day event to celebrate Dale Newbury’s extraordinary career. After 50 years at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly the National Bureau of Standards), Dale will be retiring. To mark the occasion, a 1-day Symposium was held at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research in Rockville Maryland, attended by over 70 people, some of whom had traveled considerable distances to be there! Speakers who have worked with Dale throughout his long career talked about working with him, and the positive impact that his mentorship and collaboration have had on their career.
The event featured a range of in-person hosts and speakers from across the U.S. and also from across Dale’s career. Top Row: Ken Livi, CMMS; David Holbrook, NIST; Joe Michael, Sandia (retired); Masashi Watanabe, Lehigh University; John Small, NIST (retired). Bottom Row: Richard Leapman, NIH; Ed Vicenzi, MCI; Kim Foecke, NMNH; Nicholas Ritchie, NIST.
The event was kicked off by an introduction and welcome from Nicholas Ritchie (NIST), Ken Livi (CMMS) and Dave Holbrook (Chief, Materials Measurement Science Division Chief, NIST), and then it was time for the talks to begin.
Joe Michael, recently retired from Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque NM, kicked off the first of the two Keynote presentations with a fascinating talk entitled “FIB Artifacts that I have come to know”. Joe opened his talk with a recap of Dale’s career and noted how his own career has followed Dale’s. He then went on to compare “Newbury’s Axiom — Electrons are Devious!” with ions, noting that “Ions are Thugs!”. Joe showed images of the changes that can occur to samples during the FIB milling process, from changes in structure (such as alteration of austenite to ferrite) to the formation of void spaces in soft metal. Throughout his talk, Joe imparted some invaluable advice: “Always look critically at your results to convince yourself that what you’re looking at is not just artifacts”; “Trial and error is sometimes mostly error…”, and finally. “Six weeks in the lab can save you two hours in the library!”
The second keynote speaker was Masashi Watanabe, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, from Lehigh University, PA. Masashi opened his presentation by telling us how every Groundhog Day, Dale would call up Sharon Coe, the events coordinator for the Lehigh Microscopy School, and sing her a song known as the “Groundhog Carol” from an old Looney Tunes cartoon. Masashi then talked to us about “Explorations of Single-Atom Characterization and Quantification in Analytical Electron Microscopy”. Single atom characterization is vital, as catastrophic failures can be caused by embrittlement failure without any sign of deformation. Masashi showed us some pictures of the new Atomic Resolution Microscope in his lab and joked “The new upgraded ARM at Lehigh requires four mice and keyboards — that means you need lots of arms to operate it! And the new EELS camera was bought in place of a post doc — it is working out much cheaper as it doesn’t need feeding and works all day…”
Following this, John Small, retired Division Chief at NIST, gave us a brief history of Dale entitled, “A Short History from Mushrooms to Paper Bags”. The presentation noted the many awards Dale has won, his immense publication list, his ability to foretell the future of microanalysis, and also his wonderful sense of humor, which has led to some interesting pranks on his colleagues…
Richard Leapman, the Scientific Director of the Laboratory of Cellular Imaging and Macromolecular Biophysics at the National Institutes of Health told us about the key role that Dale played in establishing STEM-EELS at NIH so it could be applied to many important biological problems, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Ed Vicenzi, a Research Scientist at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute, provided us with many quotes about Dale’s impact, noting that “Dale is a leader in the field in SEM and EDS, has received multiple awards and been a mentor to many in the field. He is highly respected and influential”…. Before revealing that these quotes all came from ChatGPT. Even the machines respect Dale!
A special guest, Jeff Davis from EOS GmbH, who first came to NIST as a high school student to work under Dale, video-called in to the meeting all the way from Germany to pay tribute to Dale through a humorous presentation built up from internet memes. Dale was an important mentor to Jeff, and together they worked on a variety of microanalytical problems.
Jeff Davis video-called all the way in from Germany to pay tribute to Dale.
Kimberley Foecke, Education Programs and Research Specialist in the Human Origins Program at the National Museum of Natural History, told us how she has used Dale’s wisdom to help study and unravel the secrets of human origins. She noted the many ways in which he has proved to be an inspirational mentor to her throughout her career, and how the lessons he has taught her have enabled her to devise new and novel ways of analyzing human artifacts.
The talks were rounded out by Nicholas Ritchie, a Physicist and close colleague of Dale’s at NIST, who talked about Dale’s background and early work, and also about the significant impact Dale has had throughout the years in the fields of microanalysis and beyond.
L-R: Dale gave a short “thank you” speech, and a shout out to his friends and colleagues; cut (and shared!) a celebratory cake provided by Keana Scott and John Henry Scott; Dale holds his favorite Far Side cartoon, personalized pin and sentiment (pixelated here for reasons of copyright!).
Partway through the afternoon, the festivities included a wonderful tres leches cake, and the presentation of a FIB’d sewing needle that included a reference to Dale’s favorite Far Side cartoon, “The Thagomizer”. A group photo was taken in the auditorium of the IBBR building. Dale took to the microphone to share some thoughts and memories of his colleagues and time at NIST, and a good time was had by all!
CMMS would very much like to thank our sponsors JEOL, Bruker, and Rave Scientific for their generous support., which enabled us to provide lunch and refreshments, in addition to speaker support. We’d also like to offer our gratitude to both MSA and MAS for contributing Tour Speaker funds that allowed Joe Michael and Masashi Watanabe to attend.
We hope you can join us for the next event, due to be held at the University of Delaware in May! Further details will be posted on the website and emailed out closer to the time. In the meantime, we encourage you to add your support for future events by becoming a CMMS member.
CMMS organizers: Emma Bullock (Carnegie Institution for Science) and Ken Livi (Johns Hopkins University)
NIST organizers: Abigail Lindstrom, Fred Meisenkothen, Nicholas Ritchie, John Henry Scott, Keana Scott, Scott Wight