Lehigh University materials science and engineering (MSE) professor Masashi Watanabe is the 2023 recipient of the Microanalysis Society Presidential Science Award, which recognizes a senior scientist for “outstanding technical contributions to the field of microanalysis over a sustained period of time.”

Watanabe is a Fellow of the Microanalysis Society and a former MAS president. The career achievement honor highlights his work in advancing quantitative analysis in scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). The award will be officially announced at the upcoming Microscopy and Microanalysis Meeting (M&M 2023), July 23-27, in Minneapolis.

“This award is unexpected,” says Watanabe. “Receiving it means a lot to me, as former Lehigh MSE professors Joe Goldstein and Dave Williams and alums Dr. Dale Newbury and Dr. Joe Michael are past recipients of this prestigious recognition. I am honored to continue the tradition among the Lehigh materials science and microscopy community.”

Watanabe's research emphasizes materials characterization using various electron microscopy approaches involving analysis via X-rays and energy-loss electrons in analytical electron microscopes (AEMs) and atomic-resolution high angle annular dark-field (HAADF) imaging in STEMs. He developed the zeta-factor method for quantitative X-ray analysis and implemented multivariate statistical analysis (MSA) for spectrum images of X-rays and energy-loss electrons.

These specialized microscopy techniques have been used to answer a wide range of materials problems in diverse fields such as catalysis, intermetallic based nanocomposites, magnetic thin films, phase transition in metals, and grain boundary structures in metals and ceramics.

"Masashi is a great example of Lehigh’s materials engineering faculty, pushing the limits of microscopy to explore the most exciting and challenging issues in materials engineering," says Ricardo H.R. Castro, a professor of materials science and engineering and chair of the MSE department.

Watanabe is affiliated with Lehigh’s Materials Characterization Facility as an associate director under the Institute for Functional Materials and Devices (I-FMD) and has served as an organizer and lecturer for the world-renowned Lehigh Microscopy School since 2001. He has been a lecturer for other microscopy schools, including the Arizona State University Winter School on High Resolution Electron Microscopy (since 2008) and the Nano Science Education Program in Osaka University in Japan (since 2015).

Watanabe has more than 260 research publications in scientific journals and conference proceedings, and has given more than 180 invited presentations and seminars at numerous conferences and institutions. He is planning to give four invited talks in national/international conferences in summer 2023.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the  K.F.J. Heinrich Young Scientist Award from the Microbeam Analysis Society (2005), the Kazato Prize from the Kazato Research Foundation (2008), and the Seto Award (the Society Award) from the Japanese Society of Microscopy (2011).

Masashi Watanabe

Lehigh University materials science and engineering professor Masashi Watanabe will recieve the 2023 Microanalysis Society Presidential Science Award during M&M 2023 (July 23-27, Minneapolis).