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MRS Press Release

MRS Headquarters Restructures Scientific Team to Support Expanding Communications Portfolio

April 11, 2011
Press & Public Relations Contact:

Ryan Rebholz
Communications Manager
Materials Research Society

Elizabeth L. Fleischer and Gopal R. Rao Assume New Roles, Tim Palucka Signs on as Science News Editor 

Warrendale, PA / April 11, 2011: Building on years of solid performance and growth, the Materials Research Society is repositioning and expanding its headquarters scientific team.  These changes, together with MRS’s recent partnership with Cambridge University Press, support the Society’s continued commitment to increasing the accessibility and growth of the current MRS suite of publications and to building a broader and more global communications portfolio.

After 20 years as editor of MRS BulletinElizabeth (Betsy) L. Fleischer has been named principal development editor. Fleischer will work closely with the Publications New Products Subcommittee and Cambridge University Press to identify and develop new publication products, develop product scope, and assist in identifying editor and editorial board candidates and authors.  She will also bridge communications with other MRS committees and groups to foster activities to complement and enhance the publications portfolio.  Most recently, Fleischer was project leader for the MRS Bulletin special issue, “Harnessing Materials for Energy,” published April 2008. In addition to her role with MRS Bulletin, Fleischer was a principal investigator of Materials MicroWorld, the precursor of MRS’s traveling science exhibit, Strange Matter. Fleischer received her BSE degree in 1985 from the University of Pennsylvania, and her MS (1988) and PhD (1991) degrees from Cornell University —all in materials science and engineering. Her research focused on mechanical properties and structure of ion-beam modified metals and ceramics. 

Gopal R. Rao will assume the role of editor of MRS Bulletin, working with the Editorial Board and Volume Organizers to continue to grow the scope and impact of the Bulletin.  Rao has been web science editor since joining MRS in 1997, and editor of Materials360®, the Society’s primary electronic newsletter, since creating it in 2001. He has also been editor of the Meeting Scene electronic newsletter, reporting from MRS and other international conferences, and has been involved in various social media initiatives. He also collaborated with the NSF International Center for Materials Research at Santa Barbara to create the Apprentice Science Reporters program. This program trains materials science graduate students in science writing. Rao received his MS (1988) and PhD (1992) degrees from Auburn University in materials science and engineering.  He spent eight years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, from 1990 to 1997, sequentially as a graduate student, post-doctoral fellow, and research assistant professor, working on various aspects of ion beam irradiation and modification of materials, and has 30 peer-reviewed publications in these areas.

Tim Palucka joins MRS as science news editor and will work to expand the materials news portfolio and develop synergies in the MRS publications, marketing, and social media programs. Tim brings over 20 years of experience in science news and feature writing for such organizations as the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and Carnegie Mellon University. He has published articles in various publications including American Heritage of Invention and Technology, Physical Review Focus, Astronomy, and Geotimes.  He has co-authored three history books—NETL: A Century of Innovation, The History of the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania, and The History of the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering.  Palucka has also scripted and produced radio pieces on environmental issues for The Allegheny Front (WYEP, Pittsburgh). During the past 10 years, Palucka has written news and features as well as edited technical themes forMRS Bulletin and contributed to Meeting Scenes. He holds a BS degree in chemistry and an MS degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

“The members of the MRS Publications Committee will benefit greatly from working with Betsy Fleischer and Gopal Rao in their new positions as MRS principal development editor and MRS Bulletin Editor, respectively,” notes Paul McIntyre, chair of the MRS Publications Committee.  “Betsy and Gopal bring extensive editorial experience to their new roles and have made major contributions to MRS.  These include the recent redesign

of MRS Bulletin and the Society's important initiatives in news and online communications.  In their new positions, Betsy will work closely with the New Products Subcommittee of the Publications Committee, and Gopal will serve as staff liaison to its Quality Subcommittee.  We're very fortunate to have them on our team, as MRS embarks on exciting new publishing ventures!" 

About the Materials Research Society

MRS is an organization of over 13,000 materials researchers from academia, industry and government worldwide, and a recognized leader in promoting the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life. MRS members are students and professionals hailing from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering—the full spectrum of materials research. Headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania (USA), MRS membership now spans 90 countries, with approximately 45 percent of members residing outside the United States.

MRS serves and engages members across generations to advance their careers and promote materials research and innovation. The Society produces high-quality meetings and publications, assuring that members of all career stages can present and publish their most important and timely work to an international and interdisciplinary audience. MRS continues to expand its professional development portfolio, as well as promote diversity and inclusion in the scientific workforce, with career services for researchers worldwide. The Society advocates for the importance of scientific research and innovation to policymakers and the community. And the MRS Awards program honors those whose work has already had a major impact in the field, as well as those whose work shows great promise for future leadership.

For more information about the Materials Research Society visit mrs.org and follow @Materials_MRS.