In an event aptly titled “Zahid Fest,” ALS staff held a scientific symposium and celebration honoring the career of long-time Division Deputy for Scientific Support Zahid Hussain and wishing him well in retirement. The day-long event featured scientific and biographical talks from a star-studded cast of researchers who have collaborated with Hussain over the years as well as a round of individual acknowledgements.
A talk by Chuck Fadley, once Hussain’s PhD advisor and now a distinguished professor at UC Davis, chronicled a “44-year collaboration and friendship,” beginning with Hussain’s doctoral work on angle-resolved photoemission studies of transition metals with soft x-rays at the University of Hawaii. After finishing his PhD in 1979, Hussain completed a postdoc at Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley with David Shirley, then became a visiting scientist at Stanford. He served as a member of the physics faculty at King Fahd University in Saudi Arabia before taking a post as senior staff scientist at the ALS beginning in 1989 and as division deputy for scientific support from 1997.
Throughout the day, the impact of Zahid’s contributions to soft x-ray science and techniques worldwide was detailed, from his outstanding publication record and awards for ambient-pressure x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and spin time-of-flight angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, to his broader contributions in establishing the ALS postdoctoral fellowship program and chairing the beamline committee for SESAME, the first synchrotron in the Middle East.
The large ALS conference room was at capacity much of the day, and many attendees provided individual words of thanks. Hussain was presented a photo book with personal notes, a commemorative plaque, and a drawing by ALS Staff Scientist Chris Jozwiak. Hussain’s family, including wife Asma, daughters Rabia and Samia, and son Shawn, attended as well. The event was organized by ALS Senior Scientist Elke Arenholz and Administrator Kaitlin Duffey as well as Chris Jozwiak and CSD Senior Scientist Hendrik Bluhm with help from many others.