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Robert D. Shull received a B.S. In Materials Science from MIT in 1968, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Metallurgical and Mining Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1973 and 1976 respectively. His Ph.D. thesis work, in which he discovered the "reversed Curie temperature" phenomenon in Fe70Al30, was instrumental in his more recent discovery of "Spin Density Waves" (a phenomenon which had been predicted 40 years earlier to exist, but never found) in the same alloy system. After being awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from CALTECH between 1976-1979, he joined the National Bureau of Standards where he initially clarified the titanium-rich end of the Ti-Al phase diagram and set up the rapid solidification facility that led to the discovery of "quasicrystals" in 1980. Dr. Shull was also part of the collaboration that prepared the first thin films of a high TC superconductor by the laser ablation process (awarded "Best Paper of the Year" at the Applied Physics Laboratory of JHU), and his field ion microscopy observation of the high TC materials (first ever) was even featured on the cover of Science magazine (Jan. 8, 1988). He was the first to explain the novel "attractable levitation" found in some high TC materials, and he discovered the "enhanced magnetocaloric effect" in nanocomposites. In addition, he was the first to show the deleterious effects of hysteresis in magnetic refrigerants, thereby pointing out the importance of hysteresis being a consideration when comparing prospective refrigerants. In exchange-biased thin films, Dr. Shull's domain-imaging observations discovered an asymmetric remagnetization behavior dependent on the magnetizing direction, quite contrary to that for a normal ferromagnet, and also showed that the magnetic exchange interaction between an antiferromagnet and a ferromagnet may extend 10,000 times further in the ferromagnet than previously felt possible.
Dr. Shull has authored and co-authored over 190 publications, presented over 300 invited talks, edited 4 books, and holds 4 patents. He was a member of the International Committee on Nanostructured Materials (ICNM) from 1990 to 2012, and was its Chairman between 1999-2001. He was the 2007 President of TMS, and was also a founding member of the OSTP subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology (NSET), the group which drafted the original National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) in 2001. Dr. Shull was also a founding member of the IEEE Nanotechnology Council, and chaired its first international conference in 2001. Dr. Shull has been awarded several NIST Innovation and Competence Awards, two NIST EEO/Diversity Awards, the Outstanding Service Award to NIST by the NIST Chapter of Sigma Xi, and was elected a Fellow of IEEE in 2007 and a Fellow of TMS in 2012. He is also the recipient of the 2009 SPIE "Nanoengineering Pioneeer Award", and is an "Honorary Member" of the Indian Institute of Metals, an honor only bestowed to 50 people around the world. In 2010, he became a NIST Fellow. For the past 30 years, he has also led a 6-month long pre-high school science program for 250 children each year, called 4H Adventure In Science. Dr. Shull is also the son of Dr. Clifford G. Shull, the 1994 recipient of the NOBEL PRIZE in PHYSICS.
Materials Science and Engineering Division
B.S. - Materials Science, Massachussetts Institute of Technology, 1968