All Press Releases for March 28, 2019

John William Wilson, PhD Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who's Who

Dr. Wilson has been endorsed by Marquis Who's Who as a leader in the physics education industry

    NEWPORT NEWS, VA, March 28, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present John Wilson with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Dr. Wilson celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

Earning a Bachelor of Science from Kansas State University in 1962, Dr. Wilson concluded his studies with a Master of Science (MS) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the College of William and Mary. He began his career at the Langley Research Center (LaRC, established 1917) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a researcher from 1963 to 1975 and a senior scientist from 1975 to 2007. During his tenure at NASA, he taught courses in radiation physics at the Old Dominion University (ODU) Physics Department gaining an adjunct associate professorship and guided many students in their pursuit of MS and PhD degrees at not only ODU's Physics and Math Departments but also at Hampton University, College of William and Mary, and Virginia State University. Many of these students provide today the expertise to NASA's space radiation protection programs. He was listed among 2000 Outstanding Scientist of the 20th Century by the International Biographical Center, Cambridge, England. Since his retirement from NASA in 2007, he joined the ODU Research Foundation in 2012 as Senior Research Professor to continue advances in radiation physics required by NASA.

He subsequently joined Research Gate where his research is tracked by their search engine that located 648 articles and reports from the open literature available on the internet with over 19,000 reads and over 7,660 citations ranking him within the upper 2.5 percent of over 15 million listees from the world science pool (see, ).

His early activity at NASA was flight simulation studies associated with systems design, operational procedures, and astronaut evaluation/training. In this respect he evaluated the thermal design of an orbiting space station, attitude control of the Lunar Orbiter photographic mission, reformulation of rigid body dynamics of the Lunar Orbit and Landing Approach (LOLA) simulator to increase accuracy, introduction of four-axis gimbal drive equations to remove singularities in LOLA visual display system, optimized four-axis gimbal design for the Differential Maneuvering Simulator enabling study of risk avoidance in aerial combat (saved many lives), and developed numerical methods enabling real-time digital-computer flight simulation for high accuracy studies of the pilot/machine interface not achievable with prior analog-computer simulations.

He gradually turned from flight simulation to help Trutz Foelsche (prior Director of Max Planck Institute before coming to LaRC) in analyzing the projected high-altitude radiation environment of the planned commercial Super Sonic Transport. Wilson developed a Monte Carlo (MC) radiation transport code to assess the hazard to passengers and crew providing an invited presentation with Dr. Foelsche at the French-Anglo United States Supersonic Transport Meeting (Paris 1969). He participated in an eight-year study (nearly complete solar cycle) of atmospheric radiation with high altitude balloons and RB57F aircraft demonstrating that current commercial flight crews are the most neutron-exposed group and that solar particle events can be a hazard to pregnant passengers on high-latitude/high-altitude routes. As a result, real-time-onboard radiation monitors including neutron detection was part of the French-British SST (Concorde) operation. The new MC radiation transport codes were used to analyze the film shield requirements on the Lunar Orbiter and determine the radiation design environment of the Viking Lander. He developed a probabilistic Solar Particle Event model for degradation of Viking solar array allowing redesign to acceptable mission risk (increasing the array by 10 percent) and founded the NASA Radiation Physics Group. The atmospheric neutron MC study required 24/7 calculations for nine months on a state-of-the-art scientific computer complex ($30million facility) providing a real hindrance to practical future applications. Dr. Wilson began an investigation of direct solution of the Boltzmann equation as an alternative to MC methods. The first approach was a perturbation series solution that tested well with MC evaluations in accuracy but required hours and not months. An even simpler computer efficient approach using methods of characteristics and marching procedures was found for the transport of heavy ions but still required an accurate database to fully implement. These marching procedures were extended to the transport of neutrons and light ions.

Space radiation is a field of energetic particles that is relatively uniformly distributed over large distances. Radiation physics is the study of the physically induced changes within a material object when immersed within that field. These interactions begin chemical changes affecting the material properties. Although most of our interest is on effects in living tissue, aside from models of nuclear reactions, the atomic/molecular reaction database is required for the interaction of matter with the radiation field. In addition to radiation safety, these databases were used to model radiation degradation of structural materials, gallium-arsenide solar cells, and living tissues but also in prediction of nuclear pumped laser output including a nuclear flash-lamp pumped iodine laser. The later development lead to the proof-of-principle for a solar pumped laser power satellite system with optimized chemistry to minimize resupply in space operation. A Group Achievement Award was given for the Nuclear Pumped Laser Development. He was invited to Lawrence Berkley Laboratory to discuss Environmental Geophysics and the Satellite Power System Shielding.

He developed a multiple scattering (MS) theory using relativistic quantum field theory and extracted the deuteron pole contributions as a series of two-body scatterings and the deuteron vertex. Excellent agreement with both un-polarized and polarized proton beam scattering data resulting in several articles in principal physics journals. With this success of MS theory, he then developed MS theory for interaction of complex particles using the Schrodinger equation (resulting in a PhD dissertation and ultimately many journal articles and reports) that became a staple of database development for cosmic ray shielding studies for which he was awarded a 1975 Special Achievement Award. His code rightly predicted the recoil spectra from a proton beam needed for single event upset studies, developed a heavy ion reaction model tested with Lawrence Berkeley Bevatron's cancer therapy team, found agreement with high altitude air shower data, developed a cell kinetics track structure model, developed a model for mouse embryo cell survival/transformation and a Harderian gland tumor cancer induction model validated by experiments. Predicted heavy ion beam cell killing and cancer induction potential. He served as Science Advisor to NASA's Long Duration Exposure Facility and appointed to faculty of the NATO Advanced Study Institute on "Biological Effects and Physics of Solar and Galactic Cosmic Radiation" to give two courses on Transport Methods and Interactions for Space Radiations (see NASA RP1257) and Cell kinetics and track structure (see NATO ASI 243A &243B). He organized a NASA Workshop on "Shielding Strategies for Human Space Exploration" NASA CP3360, gave an invited lecture on space radiation issues to the National Academy of Science, an invited lecture on Radiation Issues of the High-Speed Civil Transport Aircraft to the National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP), was appointed to the National Economic Council Panel on "Occupational Hazards Associated with Nuclear Weapons Production", and gave an invited lecture entitled "Overview of Radiation Environments and Human Exposure" at the NCRP Annual Meeting. He served on NCRP Scientific Committee 46-15: Operational Radiation Safety Program for Astronauts.

He was Science Advisor to the Loma Linda University Cancer Therapy Center, Chief Scientist to the Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation Measurements Program using ER2 aircraft (a multinational study) and member of the UN/WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer's Monograph Committee on Neutron Carcinogenesis. A founding member of the study of possible transfer of microscopic life forms from meteor impact on Mars surface to Earth entry and the question of how life may have propagated within Solar system, organized an international workshop: "Atmospheric Ionizing Radiation (AIR): Analysis, Results, and Lessons Learned From the June 1997 ER-2 Campaign" (NASA CP212155). Member of the team to retro-fit shielding for crew quarters on International Space Station using encapsulated polyethylene resulting in a Space Flight Awareness Award using his code HZETRN for which he received the 2009 H. J. E. Reid Award. After retirement in 2007 he subsequently joined the Old Dominion University Research Foundation in 2012 to continue HZETRN development. He made improved 3D corrections by instituting a Serber model resulting in a 2015 H. J. E. Reid Award. He currently continues research to improve both database and computational procedures.

• NASA Scientific Achievement Award for Nuclear Theory, 1975
• Significant Men and Women of Science, 1975
• Who's Who in Technology, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1990, in America 1992,
• NASA Group Achievement Award for Nuclear Fission Pumped Lasers, 1980
• NASA Group Achievement Award for Direct Solar Pumped Lasers, 1981
• Best Division Paper in 1984, 1986
• American Men and Women in Science, 1985, 1991
• Langley Group Achievement Award for Absorption Cross Section Data Base, 1990
• American Nuclear Society Author Recognition November 1991
• Best Division Paper in 1990 - BRYNTRN, A Baryon Transport Code
• NASA Group Achievement Award for Space-Based Beamed Power Research Team, 1992
• Superior Accomplishment in 1992 - Transport Methods and Interactions for Space Radiations, RP-1257
• Superior Accomplishment - Leadership and Research in Radiation Physics, 1992
• Best Space Directorate Paper in 1992 - BRYNTRN, A Baryon Transport Model
• 1993 NASA Medal for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment
• Dictionary of International Biography, 1993
• NASA Dual Career Ladder Award, 1994, 1995
• Who's Who in the South-East, 1994
• Superior Accomplishment Award, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001
• 1998, NASA Medal for Distinguished Service,
• 2000 Outstanding Scientist of the 20th Century, International Biographical Center, Cambridge, England
• Space Flight Awareness Award for redesign of astronaut sleep areas from Johnson Space Center, 2001
• NASA Group Achievement Award, Decadal Planning Team, 2001.
• NASA Snoopy Award: Spacesuit fabric shielding performance evaluation, 2002
• NASA TGIR Award: Radiation Shielding Design Methods Team, 2002
• NASA Inventions and Contributions Board Award process with the technology: Standardized Shield
Design Method: 2005 HZETRN, 22 Aug. 2006
• NASA Langley nomination for Software of the Year Award, July 2007
• 2007 H. J. E. Reid Award, Standardized Radiation Shielding Code
• 2008 NASA Distinguished Service Medal, leadership in refining the ionizing radiation discipline
• 2009 H. J. E. Reid Award, HZETRN with 3D neutron transport corrections
• 2015 H. J. E. Reid Award, 3DHZETRN with light ion 3D transport corrections

In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Dr. Wilson has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit for more information about this honor.

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