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Regel And Wilcox Of Potsdam Honored With Prestigious Book Award

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Clarkson University professors Liya L. Regel and William R. Wilcox, both of Potsdam, recently received the prestigious Basic Sciences Best Book Award from the International Academy of Astronautics at a conference held recently in Melbourne, Australia.  bestbook

The award was for outstanding achievement as evidenced by the publication of Centrifugal Materials Processing. This is the first time that the IAA book award has been given for work in materials science. The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) presents the Basic Sciences Book Award annually in conjunction with the International Astronautical Congress, which is held annually in a different country with over 1,000 delegates participating.

Regel pioneered the field of materials processing at high gravity using large centrifuges. Beginning in the early 1980s, she conducted experiments on the huge centrifuge in Russia that was used to test and to train cosmonauts. Arriving at Clarkson in 1991 she teamed with Wilcox to construct the first centrifuge in the world dedicated to materials processing and related flow visualization.  They organized two international meetings on this subject at Clarkson, in 1993 and 1996.  The second meeting resulted in the book for which the IAA award was granted. Published by Plenum last year, the book quickly sold out.

Discoveries reported by international scientists in the book include the use of centrifuges to make improved semiconductor crystals for computer chips and night vision; improved protein crystals for determination of molecular structures for drug development; a new form of sticky, porous Teflon and improved deposition of diamond for hard coatings.

Two other Clarkson professors, inspired by the work of Regel and Wilcox, have joined in the exploration of the high gravity environment.  Professor Daryush K. Aidun constructed a centrifuge which is being used to study the influence of high gravity on the welding of metals.  Professor Daniel T. Valentine is using a computer to model flows through pipes, not only in materials processing centrifuges but also in rotating spacecraft.

Regel and Wilcox have begun planning for the next international meeting on high gravity materials processing, to be held at Clarkson in the year 2000.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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