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Two NIST Scientists Honored For Their Significant Research Contributions

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, has honored two local residents for their pioneering neutron studies of the bonding and dynamics of hydrogen isotopes in metals.

J. Michael Rowe, chief of the Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory's Reactor Radiation Division, and John J. Rush, leader of the laboratory's Neutron Condensed Matter Science Group, were presented with the Samuel Wesley Stratton Award. This award, named after the first director of the institute (then the National Bureau of Standards), was initiated in 1962 to recognize an unusually significant research contribution to science or engineering that merits the acclaim of the scientific world.

These two researchers are world-renowned experts in neutron methods and research to reveal the detailed nature of metal- hydrogen bonding and interactions, atomic diffusion, and trapping by defects. The fundamental understanding of metal-hydrogen systems underlies a wide variety of critical technological issues ranging from hydrogen embrittlement and corrosion to energy production and catalysis. This widely recognized research on hydrogen in metals has resulted in over 50 publications (including invited reviews), numerous lectures around the world and collaborations with over 20 universities and industries.

Rowe, a solid-state physicist and resident of Potomac, Md., wrote his thesis on the lattice dynamics of metals, as studied by neutron scattering. He also designed and built a triple-axis spectrometer as part of his thesis work, and later led an effort to build a time-of-flight spectrometer at Argonne National Laboratory. In 1989, Rowe became head of NIST's Cold Neutron Research Facility.

Rush, a resident of Gaithersburg, Md., was trained as a physical chemist. With a thesis studying neutron scattering of hydrogenous materials, he had already studied several hydride phases when he began the series of experiments on hydrogen in metals with Rowe. He currently is continuing his research into metal hydrogen systems with a broad range of collaborators, both nationally and internationally.

As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements, and standards.

Released December 8, 1993, Updated November 27, 2017