Excellence in Research and Service

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

UC Santa Barbara materials professors Ram Seshadri and Stephen Wilson have been elected fellows of the Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA) for excellence in research and service to the neutron community. Founded in 1992, the NSSA has more than one thousand members worldwide who help promote neutron scattering research. Less than one percent of the membership is accorded the recognition of fellow every two years.

“It was a great pleasure and surprise to be elected a fellow since I did not know that I had been nominated,” said Seshadri, who is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “I am very pleased because I have been a very big proponent, for much of my career, for the use of neutrons as a probe to understand materials and help in advancing new materials.”

Seshadri has been a professor in UCSB’s departments of chemistry and biochemistry and materials since 2002. The Fred and Linda R. Wudl Professor of Materials Science and director of the Materials Research Laboratory, Seshadri’s research seeks to develop rational guidelines for the screening of known materials for useful function, leading to the creation of new functional material through the understanding and control of structure-composition-property relationships. His research group also aims to develop the tools to better establish the relationships. 

“Neutrons are very revealing in what they allow you to learn about materials,” said Seshadri. “There is a great worldwide community that develops the facilities and instrumentation for neutron scattering that we all greatly appreciate. I am particularly pleased that I have many former students and postdoctoral fellows who contribute to this community.”

Wilson was elected an NSSA fellow for “his insightful neutron research into highly correlated electron physics and his remarkable service to the neutron scattering community.” The associate chair of the Materials Department, associate director of the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI), and co-director of the National Science Foundation’s Quantum Foundry at UCSB, said that the recognition was a tremendous honor. 

“Neutron scattering is one of the most powerful tools for understanding the structures and interactions in materials,” said Wilson. “It’s a real privilege to be able to access the national user facilities supporting neutron scattering in the United States. I’m thrilled to be listed in the company of those who use neutron scattering techniques to advance our knowledge of forefront materials.”

Wilson’s research centers on the synthesis and advanced characterization of novel quantum materials, ranging from unconventional superconductors to quantum magnets. The primary experimental tools used in his research group are neutron and synchrotron x-ray scattering techniques in order to explore static and fluctuating phase behaviors, single crystal growth, and novel materials synthesis.

The two will be inducted during the American Conference on Neutron Scattering in Boulder, Colorado in June. 

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Ram Seshadri, Stephen Wilson

Materials professors Ram Seshadri (left) and Stephen Wilson