Dean of UMass Amherst College of Engineering Honored by Microbeam Analysis Society

AMHERST, Mass. - Joseph I. Goldstein, dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, has been named an honorary member of the Microbeam Analysis Society. He was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the field of microbeam analysis, according to John J. Friel, president of the society.

The citation lauds him for his "books, papers, and contributions to education (which) have served to advance the field and spread knowledge of those advances broadly throughout several scientific disciplines." In the 30-year history of the society, only 17 people have previously been honored in this way, Friel said.

The Microbeam Analysis Society is an international organization with 1,000 members; Goldstein was one of its founders. Microbeam analysis involves the use of a specialized type of electron microscope, called an electron probe microanalyzer, to determine the chemistry of microscopic regions near the surface of an object. This information enables engineers and scientists to address a multitude of issues in materials science.

Materials science is the study of the strengths and properties of various materials used in fields ranging from construction to electronics to manufacturing. Goldstein, who continues to conduct laboratory research while serving as dean, focuses specifically on the chemistry of meteorites and lunar rocks. This detailed chemical information offers clues about how quickly various elements have moved at low temperatures within the meteorites and rocks.

"This tells us how slowly the meteorites cooled when they were part of asteroids," Goldstein explains. His research extends to creating computer simulations of solid-state reactions, particularly within meteorites. "I’m very pleased to become a member of a group of people whom I highly respect, and am equally pleased at knowing that what I’ve done has meant something to the research community," said Goldstein, who has co-authored more than 10 textbooks on both the theory and the practice of microbeam analysis.