For release: June 3, 2008

Dan Shechtman, Ames Laboratory, 515-294-3685
Kerry Gibson, Ames Laboratory, 515-294-1405
Dennis Smith, Engineering Communications, 515-294-0267



Quasicrystal discoverer Dan Shechtman receives E-MRS 25th Anniversary Award


AMES, Iowa –Dan Shechtman, a research scientist  with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and a faculty member in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University, has been named the recipient of the European Materials Research Society 25th Anniversary award.

The E-MRS award is the highest recognition conferred upon a materials scientist by the society, which is Europe’s leading organization for the support and advancement of research in materials.  The award consists of a plaque, a medal and a cash grant of 5000 euro (about $7,800) sponsored by both E-MRS and Elsevier Inc.  Shechtman was formally recognized with the Prize at a ceremony and banquet held in Strasbourg, France, May 28, 2008.

Shechtman was selected by the award committee in recognition of his essential contribution to the discovery of quasi-periodic crystals, also known as quasicrystals, in metallic alloys. In 1982, he discovered the icosahedral phase in a rapidly solidified aluminum transition metal alloy, which opened up the field of quasicrystals as an area of study in materials science.

Shechtman was recruited to the Ames Laboratory through a joint effort between Pat Thiel, Ames Laboratory senior chemist and quasicrystal expert and Mufit Akinc, who was then chair of ISU’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.  He joined the staff at Ames Laboratory in 2004.

Shechtman’s groundbreaking work was recognized in 1988 with The International Award for New Materials of the American Physical Society. In addition, he received the 1990 Rothchild Prize in Engineering and the1993 Weizmann Prize in Science.  More recently, he was recognized in 1998 with the Israel Prize in Physics, the 1999 Wolf Prize in Physics, the Gregori Aminoff Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 2000, and the 2002 EMET Prize in Chemistry.

Shechtman received his B.Sc., M.Sc., and Ph.D. from The Technion in Haifa, Israel in 1966, 1968, and 1972, respectively. He was a Fellow of the National Research Council at Wright Patterson Air Force Base from 1972 to 1975.  In 1975 he joined the materials science faculty at The Technion, where he still holds an appointment. He discovered quasicrystals while a visiting scholar at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (formerly the National Bureau of Standards) from 1981 to 1983. 

In addition to his work on the properties of quasicrystals, Shechtman has been active in the areas of metallic multilayers, phase transitions, the rapid solidification of metallic alloys, and the structure and properties of CVD diamond wafers.

Shechtman is a member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the United States. He was elected in 2004 to the European Academy of Sciences.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory operated for the DOE by Iowa State University. The Lab conducts research into various areas of national concern, including the synthesis and study of new materials, energy resources, high-speed computer design, and environmental cleanup and restoration .