Rick Russo Speaks at University at Buffalo as Part of SAS Tour Speaker Series

January 3, 2020

On Tuesday and Wednesday, November 4 and 5, 2019, the State University of New York at Buffalo Chapter of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Rick Russo as part of the 2019 SAS Tour Speaker Series.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, November 4 and 5, 2019, the State University of New York at Buffalo Chapter of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy (SAS) had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Rick Russo as part of the 2019 SAS Tour Speaker Series. Tuesday started off with a lunch for students and transitioned into a full afternoon of meetings with departmental faculty to discuss their research. Over lunch, Russo discussed the beginnings of his company, Applied Spectra Inc., and his career working for a national laboratory as well as fielding a variety of questions from interested students. The day finished with a Buffalo tradition of wings and beer with Prof. Frank Bright and members of the Ray Laboratory.

On Wednesday, attendees of Russo’s seminar learned about Russo’s first experiences working with lasers for atomic and molecular spectrometric methods under Prof. James Winefordner at the University at Florida. Specifically, Russo shared an anecdote recalling the need to crawl inside some of the early lasers he worked with in order to perform routine maintenance. Russo also shared his experience on starting and growing Applied Spectra into the company that it is today. Finally, Russo elaborated on his personal story working as a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Linking all parts of Russo’s scientific career continues to be the use of laser ablation as a sampling technique for different methods of chemical analysis, including laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and laser ablation molecular isotopic spectrometry (LAMIS), for which he is best known. Given the tremendous amount of growth laser ablation has seen through his career, it is exciting to imagine the future for laser ablation!