Biography: Wil Talbert
After having received his Ph.D. degree from ISU in 1960, Will spent 2-1/2 years at the Denver Research Center of Ohio Oil Company, then returned to ISU to be on the faculty. He developed the first world-class on-line mass separator facility at the Ames Laboratory Research Reactor to study short-lived fission product activities, and over 30 graduate students received their advanced degrees in the ensuing research program. The facility was relocated to Brookhaven when the ALRR was shut down. While at Iowa State, Will and his family spent a year (1970-71) in Stockholm where he worked at the Nobel Institute and at CERN. Upon his return to Ames, Will was made a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his pioneering work in on-line mass separation.
In 1976, Will went to Los Alamos National Laboratory where he assumed a variety of management and technical assignments before his retirement in late 1993.
Since retirement, Will has had four Small Business Innovative Research grants from the USDOE and has worked for several months both at Oak Ridge and the TRIUMF accelerator facility in Vancouver, B.C. In these activities the emphasis has been on development of concepts for high-power targets to produce intense beams of accelerated radioactive ions, to be used in nuclear physics studies.
While at Los Alamos, Will and Mary participated in the many outdoors activities available in the Rocky Mountains such as bicycling across many of the high passes in Colorado, skiing, backpacking into the depths of the Grand Canyon, and searching for old family sites in Wyoming. Their four children are far-flung, from Santa Fe to Ames to Minnesota, MN. Nine grandchildren visit reasonably often (at least once a year), and three are attending college already! Will is a charter member of the ISU Physics and Astronomy Council.