ICDD Awards - Distinguished Fellowship Award 2008

Jerry Johnson

Jerry Johnson receives the 2008 Distinguished Fellow Award from Jim Kaduk.
Following over 45 years of service to the ICDD, Dr. Gerald G. Johnson, Jr., Emeritus, The Pennsylvania State University, was selected as the recipient of the 2008 Distinguished Fellow Award.  During his association with the ICDD, Jerry served on nearly every subcommittee of the Centre and its predecessor organizations (JCPDS and ASTM). While serving on the Board of Directors’ in the positions of Chairman, Member-at-Large, and Treasurer, as well as instructor and organizer of the X-ray Clinics, Jerry was instrumental in building the successful foundation upon which the Centre continues to prosper. Perhaps his most significant contributions were made in the area of computer applications targeted at improving the efficiency and quality of the Powder Diffraction File.  In fact, the algorithms established by Jerry continue to provide the basis for search/match software currently in use today. 

Jerry’s acceptance speech is reproduced below, at his request.

“Jim, I would like to thank you, as Chairman, and the ICDD Board for this honor. Most of all, I would like to recognize the ICDD staff for being the glue that puts together the concepts and the data that the members create. The members are the foundation stones on which this wonderful organization has been built, but it is the staff who works the entire year to cement it all together.

I then had the opportunity to meet and work for Bill Fink and Don Hanawalt. They were the corner stones on which this organization was truly built. Bill and Don became my mentors and encouraged me to put forth my efforts of the past 46 years. I have many stories about these two founders, but will not disclose them at this time.  To have the same title of ICDD Distinguish Fellow, as these two leaders, is a wonderful accomplishment.

Because of their tutoring, I have tried to pass my enthusiasm for this organization to others. I think that some of the responsibilities of every member are:
•     to contribute their scientific knowledge to the ICDD
•     to provide leadership on committees or the Board
•     to suggest mechanisms to improve the file for the international community 
•     to seek out new members to carry on the traditions of the ICDD

Some of the senior members of the ICDD (such as the current Chairman, Jim Kaduk) were introduced to the ICDD through contracts with Deane Smith and myself at Penn State.  New members, Prof. Lin and Prof. Kirik, were introduced to the ICDD by my travels sponsored by UNESCO and the World Bank. They have recently received the title of “ICDD Distinguished Grantee” in 2004 and 2007 respectively. I first introduced Herb Göbel, a winner of the Hanawalt Award, to the ICDD. I hope that I have planted other seeds that will blossom such as they did. I would challenge each of you, the current members, to take the personal responsibility to go out and find new members who do not simply ‘join the ICDD’, but contribute to the international community of diffractionists as these four (Kaduk, Lin, Kirik and Göbel) did! Ours is an organization of active workers, not just passive listeners!

This organization creates bonds—not chemical, but those human interactions that you will carry with you for the years to come. We should all be proud of what the ICDD has accomplished in the past since 1941, and we should look forward to what it can and will accomplish in the future through the cooperative efforts of us all. To be honored by an organization that believes so strongly in something that you believe in…it’s a great honor. Again, I humbly thank you for my new title.”

Congratulations, Jerry!

Read more about the continually growing list of ICDD Distinguished Fellows.