The Michigan Engineer News Center

Geoff West wins 2017 Outstanding Recent Alumni Award

William "Geoff" West (MEng '95, PhD '11), founder, president and chief medical physicist of West Physics, has won the 2017 University of Michigan College of Engineering Outstanding Recent Alumni Award. | Short Read

The award recognizes early-career contributions by an alum who has either graduated within the last ten years or is younger than 35. Criteria include demonstrated leadership skills, professional contributions and service.

After earning his master’s degree at U-M from the NERS Radiological Health Engineering Program in 1995 – and graduating top of his class – West went on to work for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) as an inspector for power plants as well as academic, medical and research facilities. After his NRC tenure, West worked as a diagnostic medical physicist.
In 2002, he returned to U-M NERS to pursue a doctoral degree, the same year he founded West Physics. His research with Professor Kim Kearfott focused on new materials and analytical methods for radiation detection using optically stimulated luminescence, while his company grew. Today, it is the largest private-practice diagnostic medical physics firm in the nation and serves thousands of clients throughout the United States, Latin America and the Middle East.

In addition to leading the company, West has advised the Joint Commission; participates on the Standards Committee of RadSite, an imaging accreditation body; and serves as chair of the Professional Survey Subcommittee for the American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

West says the rigor of U-M NERS training at both the master’s and doctoral level was instrumental to his success and “an asset for me in differentiating myself and ultimately doing well in my career.”

A member of the U-M NERS External Advisory Board, West appreciates “the opportunity to help – even in a small way – shape the direction of a unique and world-renowned graduate program. To be able to give something back to a program that prepared me so well for my career is very special, and I feel a great sense of responsibility to advise well.”

Portrait of Jennifer Melms


Jennifer Melms
Administrative Assistant

Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

(734) 764-4260

1906 Cooley Building

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read