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Dr. X. George Xu
Professor and Head, Nuclear Engineering Program
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering
Jonsson Engineering Center, Room 5003
(Lab location: NES Building, Room I-11)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, New York 12180-3590, USA
Phone: (518) 276 - 4014

Fax: (518) 276 - 4832
E-mail: xug2@rpi.edu


Since 1995, I have been a faculty member at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), currently serving as professor and head of the Nuclear Engineering Program
¾ one of the three programs under the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering.  I work with 20 faculty members and 160 undergraduate and graduate  students involving two world-class facilities: a 100-MeV linear electron accelerator and a low-power nuclear reactor. Our program graduated the largest number of students in the U.S. in 2006 and 2007.  By courtesy, I also hold appointment with the Department of Biomedical Engineering.  Outside RPI, I have held adjunct/guest professorship at Albany Medical College Department of Radiation Oncology (Albany, New York), Tsinghua University (Beijing, China), Huazhong University of Science and Technology (Wuhan, China), and Harvard Medical School / Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA).

I have taught several undergraduate courses: Radiological Engineering, Nuclear Instrumentation and Measurement, Physics of Radiology, and Introduction to Engineering Design. I also taught graduate topics of special interests: radiation dosimetry, image processing and visualization, radiotherapy, virtual-reality authoring, and Monte Carlo methods. A list of courses is here.

My core research activities involve people in the Rensselaer Radiation Measurements and Dosimetry Group (RRMDG), its website contains detailed info about projects, papers, and members. In general, we are interested in experimental and computational methods for measuring and quantifying ionizing radiation in the human body, environment, or nuclear system.  We have developed models of complex systems such as electron and proton accelerators, CT/PET scanners and nuclear power reactors.  While working on my PhD in early 1990s at Texas A&M University, I was one of a group of researchers who developed the two-dosimeter algorithm for the U.S. nuclear power industry.  Later at RPI, we pioneered a number of innovative methods in developing computational phantoms that represent workers and patients realistically (most notably VIP-Man, RPI Pregnant Women, RPI Adult Male and Female). Monte Carlo radiation transport simulations using production codes such as MCNP, MCNPX, EGS, and Geant4 are integral to our research.  Most of our 130 peer-reviewed journal papers and 190 conference abstracts, as of December 2010, can be categorized into such fields as Health Physics (Radiation and Nuclear Safety), Medical Physics (Radiology and Radiotherapy), Nuclear Detection, Nuclear Power and Reactor Physics, and Computational Methods. A few publications and patents with other groups have covered additional topics: ultrasound imaging, finite element analysis, terahertz sensing, carbon nanotubes, proton radiography, image optimization using electronic observers, CT/PET dose optimization, nuclear and asbestos contamination, second cancer after radiotherapy, cancer stem cells, GPU parallel computing and acceleration for Monte Carlo simulation, and compressive sensing. I always think that software is critical in translating research to practice and we have devoted a lot of time testing and releasing some of the software packages we wrote. In the future we will likely continue to be attracted to new and exciting ideas that address important real-world problems. During my sabbatical leave in Boston 2009-2010, I attended probably 100+ seminars and lectures, among them are two given by Ray Kurzweil, author of The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity is Near. I have learned from him that people tend to think linearly but technologies advance exponentially.

Some research proposals I wrote were funded by NSF, DOE, NIH, NIST and EPRI totaling close to $12 million.  I mostly served as the principal investigator, in many cases working with multiple co-investigators from university, hospital or national lab. By the summer of 2012, 15 Ph.D. and 10 M.S. students have graduated from our group at RPI. I have also mentored many undergraduate students who took my advices seriously. It has been tremendously gratifying for me to work with every one of them, and later to maintain communication and even to collaborate with a few over the years.

Apart from teaching and research, I have been active in professional societies, serving as a member of various technical committees of ANS, AAPM, ASTRO, CIRMS, HPS, ICRP, and NCRP. My role as president of CIRMS in 1999 allowed me to make contributions to ionizing radiation measurement and standardization at the national level working closely with leaders from the NIST, universities, industry, and government. In 2005, I co-founded the International Consortium of Computational Human Phantoms and initiated a project that led to <<Handbook of Anatomical Modeling for Radiation Dosimetry>>. Published in 2009 after two years of efforts by 60 authors from 13 countries, the 30-chapter book documents more than 50 years of history in this research field.   In 2008, I was elected to a 6-year term as a council member of National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP). In 2009, I was elected a fellow of AAPM. Over the years, I organized and chaired many conference sessions.  I discovered that my ideas were as good as or probably better than everyone else on the committees. So, if you have an idea and are willing to volunteer, you will do well in any professional committee.

In 2011, I helped organize The Third International Workshop on Computational Phantoms for Radiation Protection, Imaging and Radiotherapy at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, August 8 and 9, 2011.  Currently, I am involved in organizing several international conferences: World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering (WC2012) in Beijing in 2012, the 12th International Conference on Radiation Shielding (ICRS-12) in Japan in 2012, and the Supercomputing in Nuclear Applications & Monte Carlo 2013 (SNA + MC 2013), Paris in 2013.

It was always wonderful to receive recognitions from peers and professional organizations: nomination for the Discover Magazine Awards for Technological Innovation, NSF Faculty CAREER Award, Rensselaer School of Engineering Excellence in Research Award, American Nuclear Society Best-Paper Award, plus a lot of publicity about our research. However, what made our group really proud are three papers in the Physics in Medicine and Biology Journal that were ranked among the 10-best in 2007, the most-downloaded in 2009 and the most-cited in 2010, respectively.

My thoughts about research are perhaps best reflected in 80 invited talks I gave over the years, some of the recent ones are listed below:

-  Plenary presentation, The 41st Annual National Conference on Radiation Control: Advancing Radiation Protection in the 21st Century, Hyatt Regency, Columbus, Ohio, May 18-21, 2009.

  Two-dosimeter Algorithms for the Assessment of Effective Dose Equivalent,"

-  Seminar, Joint Program in Nuclear Medicine, Harvard Medical School, 8-9am, January 7, 2010.

Recent Progress on Computational Phantoms and Applications to Imaging and Therapy

-  Seminar, Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, January 12, 2010.  

  Medical Physics Research at RPI: A Journey in Search of the Next Big Thing

-  Plenary presentation, 2010 American Nuclear Society, Joint RPSD, IRD & BMD International Topical Meeting, Palace Station Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV, April 19-23, 2010.

  Trends in Radiation Protection Dosimetry: The New ICRP-103 Algorithms and Computational Phantoms

-  Invited presentation, Continuous Education Course: New Internal Dose Models – Evaluation and Impact, Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 5-9, 2010.

  New, Realistic Models of the Adult Female in Pregnancy for Use in Dose Assessment

-  Invited presentation, Continuous Education Course: Dose Estimation and Reduction in PET/CT Imaging,  Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 5-9, 2010.

  Software Tools for PET and CT Dose Calculations

-  Plenary presentation, The Joint International Conference of the 7th Supercomputing in Nuclear Application and the 3rd Monte Carlo (SNA + MC2010), Tokyo, Japan, October 17-21, 2010.
 3D/4D Human Modeling and Monte Carlo Dose Calculation for Radiation Protection, Imaging and Radiotherapy

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Last updated June 2012