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Professor Graham George honoured for contributions to synchrotron science

Posted on 2018-09-12 in Science & Technology, Research, Scholarly & Artistic Work

Graham N. George, a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science at the U of S, is a Canada Research Chair in X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS).

University of Saskatchewan professor Graham N. George has been chosen to receive the 2018 Farrel W. Lytle Award for his outstanding contributions to synchrotron science at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

SLAC is a multi-program laboratory exploring frontier questions in photon science, astrophysics, particle physics and accelerator research. Located in Menlo Park, Calif., SLAC is operated by Stanford University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The award, which was established by the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource Users’ (SSRL) Executive Committee, promotes technical or scientific accomplishments in synchrotron radiation-based science.

“This award is especially noteworthy for me because it is named for one of my scientific heroes, Farrel Lytle,” said George. “Farrel and the larger faculty and staff at SSRL are alike in many ways, and probably this is not a coincidence; both have a can-do attitude, with focus and energy for the task in hand, which means that things get done and get done well.”

George, a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science at the U of S, is a Canada Research Chair in X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS). George was elected a Fellow of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Division of the Royal Society of Canada in 2016.

“He has always pushed the envelope of the technology and made impactful scientific contributions to many fields,” wrote Robert Scott, a former Lytle Award winner, in a letter of endorsement.

George recalls first learning about Farrel W. Lytle while reading a periodical called Trends in Biochemical Sciences as an undergraduate student in 1978. It was the first time George had heard of X-ray absorption spectroscopy and synchrotron radiation, and he soon read all the papers he could on the topic. George and Lytle eventually became friends, with Lytle and his wife, Manetta, gifting George and his wife, fellow U of S professor Ingrid Pickering, a quilt upon the birth of their first child in 1996.

“I have heard Farrel described as the Thomas Edison of XAS, and I think that this is not far from the mark,” said George. “Farrel has positively affected just about everyone who has interacted with him. I therefore feel especially honoured to receive this award, named as it is for such a special and highly respected colleague.”

An article outlining George’s work and the honour he is receiving has been published online by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.


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