Dr. Dale Sayers, a physics professor and pioneer in the field of extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) who died unexpectedly in 2004, is a 2011 recipient of the Advanced Photon Source’s Arthur H. Compton Award.
The award citation reads, “The 2011 APS Arthur H. Compton Award is given jointly to Edward Stern, Farrel Lytel, Dale Sayers (posthumously), and John Rehr in recognition of their invaluable contributions to the understanding and application of x-ray absorption spectroscopy, and their resulting impact on world-leading science at the APS.”
The Arthur H. Compton Award was established in 1995 by the APS Users Organization (APSUO) to recognize an important scientific or technical accomplishment at the Advanced Photon Source. The award consists of a plaque and $2,500.
Sayers earned his B.S. from the University of California at Berkeley and his M.S. and Ph.D. at the University of Washington. He joined the faculty in NC State’s Department of Physics in 1976.
His research centered on the development of a new analytical technique, extended x-ray absorption fine structure, or EXAFS. Sayers earned a number of national and international awards including the Bertram Warren Award of the American Crystallographic Association, the Centennial Scholar Award of Case Western Reserve University and the Outstanding Achievement Award of the International XAFS society.
At NC State, Sayers was honored with the University Libraries Faculty Award and the Alumni Association’s Outstanding Research Award. He was a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and held positions as visiting professor/scientist at several international institutions.
Although his vision in scientific and administrative matters was broad, his genius lay in his ability to implement strategies and projects on a level that was responsive to immediate needs. His personal integrity, humor, and comfortable communicative style permeated his life from teaching 18 year olds to heading world-renowned research teams.