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MAS Topical Conference Program 2016

An update on the TC program and the EPMA-2016 TC

Paul Carpenter, MAS Topical Conference Committee Chair

It is my pleasure to report to MAS membership regarding the success of two MAS Topical Conferences held in 2016. The first TC on electron-probe microanalysis, EPMA 2016, was held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, May 16-19, and the fifth TC on electron-backscatter diffraction, EBSD 2016, was held at the University of Alabama, May 24-26. 

MAS has a rich history of scientific leadership in the field of microanalysis, and the MAS topical conference program represents our continued dedication to education built on the foundation of MAS meetings and our ongoing co-sponsorship with the Microscopy Society of American of the annual Microscopy & Microanalysis meeting. This year, MAS has organized two topical conferences, EPMA 2016 and EBSD 2016, which are the 14th and 15th conferences since 2002. The MAS topical conference program uses a plenary structure combined with significant involvement of young scientists and important support from the sponsor community. MAS recently branded our young scientists as early career scholars (ECS), based on the co-sponsorship success from IUMAS-6. The ECS program relies on generous financial support by the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded to each TC organizing committee, coupled with support from the ECS awardees institution.

MAS Topical Conference EPMA 2016: conference web site link

Paul Carpenter, EPMA 2016 Program Chair

On behalf of the EPMA 2016 organizing committee, I want to thank the members of the planning committee, sponsors, and attendees for their excellent contributions to EPMA 2016, the first TC dedicated to electron-probe microanalysis. With EPMA 2016, we returned to the broad topic of microanalysis with an emphasis on electron-probe microanalysis and scanning-electron microscopy, the techniques of wavelength-dispersive and energy-dispersive spectrometry, and emphasizing the importance of microanalysis standards, measurement procedures, quantitative analysis, the use of software tools, and advances in both instrumentation and applications. The TC had a very ambitious format, and included several first efforts for an MAS TC. First, we provided an organizational structure for user meetings conducted by the sponsors, in which customers attended presentations and engaged in discussion with the sponsors, and was followed by a welcoming reception. The main TC was comprised of a three-day plenary meeting that included a tutorial on microanalysis, technical presentations and posters by attendees, sponsors, and MAS Early Career Scholars, product demonstrations, group discussion, and evening sessions covering microanalysis software tools. The TC attendees had discussion during group meals, coffee breaks, and the banquet. Another first for MAS TCs was the inclusion of international invited speakers and co-sponsored ECS awardees from the Australian Microbeam Analysis Society (AMAS) and the European Microbeam Analysis Society (EMAS). AMAS and EMAS cosponsored with MAS to support an awardee from each society to both TCs in 2016.

Luke Brewer and the organizers of the EBSD TCs have established NSF grant support, and this year we applied for two NSF grants to fully fund ECS awardees to both TCs. We are grateful to David Lambert at NSF, and to John Fournelle and Luke Brewer for their efforts in obtaining NSF support. This support is crucial to the educational program for MAS, and ultimately helped support nearly 100 ECS awardees from the United States to attend one of the TCs.

I want to thank the EPMA 2016 committee members that have worked to make this conference come to reality during the several years it took to get here. We also thank MAS council and MAS members who have helped along the way.

Many of us understand the importance of technical knowledge and competence with microanalytical techniques and the role they play in the earth and materials sciences. We come together at MAS topical conferences to learn about microanalysis from the experts and to make new friends. As members of the scientific community we highlight problems in microanalysis, and with members of the sponsor community we search for solutions. With our ECS awardees we build knowledge and relationships for the future.

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