Executive Committee Election

Peter Vekilov received his PhD in 1991 from the Russian Academy of Sciences under advice from A.A. Chernov. He is now John and Rebecca Moores Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and of Chemistry at the University of Houston. His main research interests are in the area of aggregation of biological molecules. Nucleation kinetics and mechanisms have been a major focus of study. Dr. Vekilov is the father of non-classical nucleation of crystals from solution, suggesting and demonstrating that crystal nucleation occurs within preformed dense liquid precursors. More recently, Dr. Vekilov focused on the molecular mechanisms of heme detoxification of malaria parasites and its inhibition by antimalarials. His findings in this area could foreseeably revolutionize the treatment of one the three most deadly infectious diseases plaguing humankind.


Dr. Vekilov is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He was the 2015 – 2016 Fracqui International Professor for Natural Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Over the years, Peter has provided dedicated service to the crystal growth community. He has served on the Executive Committee of the American Association for Crystal Growth (AACG) since 2006 and on the council of the International Organization for Biological Crystallization (IOBCr) since since 2004. He served as President of IOBCr from 2012 to 2014. He was a Program Committee co-chair of ACCGE-18 in Monterey, California in 2011 and of ACCGE-West-20 in Fallen Leaf Lake, California, in 2006, and Conference chair of ACCGE-West-27 in Fallen Leaf Lake, California, in 2018. Peter chaired the 2007 Gordon Conference on Thin Films and Crystal Growth Mechanisms.  Peter was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Crystal Growth in 2004 – 2006, a Topic Editor of Crystal Growth and Design from 2004 to 2011, and member of the Editorial and Advisory Boards of that journal from 2011 to 2018.



Mariya Zhuravleva has served as AACG Secretary since 2015, maintaining records (minutes) of the AACG Executive Committee meetings. She served as Session Chair in the Detector Materials: Scintillators and Semiconductors topical area for the ICCGE-19 (Keystone, 2019), ACCGE-21 (Santa Fe, 2017), and ACCGE-20 (Big Sky, 2015). She also played a key role in establishing the Southeast Section of AACG in 2013 as a forum to bring together people from academia, national laboratory and industry from the greater East Tennessee region with interest in the field of crystal growth.

Mariya is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Tennessee. She received her PhD degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Tohoku University, Japan in 2008. She has more than 15 years of experience in bulk crystal growth, including the Bridgman, the Czochralski, and the micro-pulling-down methods. Her current research interests include discovery and crystal growth process development of refractory oxide and halide scintillators. These materials find application as radiation detectors in medical imaging and homeland security. Her crystal growth research has been funded by Siemens Medical Imaging, DHS (Domestic Nuclear Detection Office) and DOE (National Nuclear Security Administration), and she is also a recipient of 2019 NSF Career award. Mariya has co-authored ~70 papers on crystal growth in refereed journals and has 14 issued patents or patent applications, ranging from U.S. to Europe to Asia. She is an active manuscript reviewer of a dozen of peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Crystal Growth.

As AACG president, she looks forward to the opportunity to continue serving the organization that has been influential in her career and to offer her experience and perspective.


Joan M. Redwing received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the USA under the direction of Prof. Thomas Kuech. She worked as a research engineer at Advanced Technology Materials Inc. and then joined the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State University in 1999 where she holds an adjunct appointment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.  Prof. Redwing currently serves as the director of the 2D Crystal Consortium – a U.S. National Science Foundation Materials Innovation Platform national user facility focused on the synthesis of 2D materials.  Her research focuses on crystal growth and epitaxy of electronic materials, with an emphasis on thin film and nanomaterial synthesis by chemical vapor deposition. Prof. Redwing currently serves as vice president of the American Association for Crystal Growth, was the general chair of the 20th American Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy in 2015 and is a co-chair of the 17th International Summer School on Crystal Growth to be held in July 2019. She serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Crystal Growth and a regional editor of 2D Materials. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society, Materials Research Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and is a senior member of IEEE.  She is an author or co-author on over 270 publications in refereed journals and holds 8 U.S. patents.



Merry Koschan is honored to be nominated as a candidate for the AACG Secretary, and excited about the opportunity to continue to work with the crystal growth community, both locally and nationwide.  Merry founded the Southeast section of AACG in 2013 as a mechanism to bring together people in the East Tennessee region who are interested in the field of crystal growth.  She has served as section president since then, organizing meetings and coordinating joint student poster exhibitions with other local scientific organizations; these have served to raise the profile of crystal growth as a profession in this region. As president of this local section, Merry also serves as an ex officio member of the Executive Committee of the AACG.  Additionally, she was publicity chair for ACCGE-21/OMVPE-18, held in 2017, and is currently the publicity chair for the 2019 ICCGE-19/OMVPE-19 and ISSCG-17.  She is also serving as session chair for the ICCGE-19 Bulk Crystal Growth topical area.  Merry has more than 20 years of experience in Czochralski growth of high temperature oxide scintillators in both industrial and academic settings.  She joined CTI Molecular Imaging in 1997 as part of the development team for the Czochralski growth of Lu2SiO5 (LSO), which is now a dominant scintillator used in Positron Emission Tomography.  Merry played several key roles during the commercialization of LSO through the scale-up from R&D to construction and operation of a large production facility.  She is perhaps best known as the inventor of codoped LSO, in which codoping is used to engineer scintillation kinetics, significantly improving performance. Merry left industry in 2005 as part of a team to establish the University of Tennessee Scintillation Materials Research Center, which is dedicated to pursuing materials discovery for scintillator applications.  She has continued this effort until the present day, currently as a research associate engaged in the development of inorganic scintillators for medical imaging and homeland security applications.




Luis Zepeda-Ruiz received his PhD in chemical engineering from UC Santa Barbara in 2000 where he worked with Prof. Dimitrios Maroudas on the study of strain effects on III-V semiconductor compounds. After a postdoc at Princeton University with David Srolovitz he joined the Lawrence Livermore National La y in 2002 where he remains working as a staff scientist in the Physical anLife Sciences Directorate. His research interests are in the area of computational materials science and engineering of a variety of materials, including semiconductors, ceramics, metals, explosives and crystals. His work includes the application of molecular dynamics, molecular statics, Monte Carlo, first principles, and continuum techniques to study materials properties, defects, interfaces, thin films, crystal growth and morphology evolution.