The John Wheatley Education and Outreach Room was recently dedicated at Arizona State University’s LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science. Wheatley managed the center’s John M. Cowley Center for High Resolution Electron Microscopy lab for 25 years before his death in 2005. He was responsible for operations of what is one of the nation’s largest collections of electron microscopes. He is credited by colleagues for his contributions to making it one of the leading electron microscopy facilities in the world.
The Wheatley Room will be used for Science is Fun, an education outreach program for middle school and high school students, as well as for training and education of university students, for teachers from K-12 schools and colleges, and for use by university faculty and industry researchers.
Eyring Center professor and researcher Ray Carpenter said Wheatley established a tradition of excellence through his day-to-day management of the lab. “Electron microscopes are complex electromechanical instruments that require constant attention and care to operate at peak performance levels. John Wheatley was remarkably successful at this task,” Carpenter said.
The lab’s history of success under Wheatley’s watch, he said, was a significant factor in gaining support from the National Science Foundation in recent years for the center to acquire state-of-the-art aberration-corrected electron microscopes, due to be installed in 2011.