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U.S. National Committee for Crystallography

The U.S. National Committee for Crystallography (USNC/Cr) represents U.S. crystallographers in the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) through The National Academy of Sciences. The IUCr strives to promote international cooperation and publication in crystallography; to facilitate standardization of methods, units, nomenclatures and symbols; and to form a focus for the relations of crystallography to other sciences. 


Become an IUCr Associate
The IUCr Associates Programme provides a home for crystallographers by offering a series of benefits for your professional development; it also enables the IUCr to continue its outreach efforts to bring crystallography and crystallographic training to all parts of the world.

Join now to take advantage of the wide range of benefits and resources available, and make the most of being an IUCr Associate. For more details about the programme, please click here. Joining is easy; simply follow the steps given below.

Step 1
Go to where you will be guided through the process of creating an IUCr account (or logging in if you already have an IUCr account). Select the appropriate fee (this is for a 3-year period), either full (USD 200), student (USD 60), or retired (USD 60). Click 'continue.'

Step 2
The next set of pages will take you through the payment process. Once you have completed your payment successfully you can gain access to your Associate benefits by logging in here:

Please contact if you have any questions.

2018 ACA Summer School to be Hosted by the University of Notre Dame
This year's ACA Summer Course in Chemical Crystallography will be held from June 10 to June 17, 2018. This summer school has been an outstanding opportunity for new crystallographers for almost thirty years, and no prior knowledge of crystallography is necessary to apply for the program. To submit an application, visit the ACA Summer Course website:

2017 IUCr Congress & General Assembly: August 21-28 in Hyderabad, India
India recently hosted the XXIV Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography from August 21-28, 2017, where the IUCr Executive Committee and IUCr Finance Committee also met. Here are some highlights from the week in Hyderabad:
  • Over 1700 participants from 73 countries attended the Congress and General Assembly. There were over 600 speakers and 700 poster sessions in total.
  • Richard Henderson and Joachim Frank, who would later share the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Jacques Dubochet, were among the presenters.
  • Though the United States presented a strong bid to host the IUCr XXVI in San Diego, Melbourne, Australia was chosen as the location of the 2023 Congress and General Assembly.
  • The representation of women as members of IUCr commissions rose from 17% to 26% in Hyderabad. After the election of new officers, the number of women on the IUCr executive committee rose from one to three members. Relatedly, the IUCr recommended a Statement on Gender Balance that was endorsed at the General Assembly.
  • The IUCr Associates Program was launched in Hyderabad. Students, retired scientists, and crystallographers from developing countries can apply to receive a 20% discount on their three-year membership fee. To learn more about this program, visit

IUPAP and IUCr Receive €300k Grant from ICSU
The International Council for Science (ICSU) has awarded one of its three €300k grants to IUPAP and IUCr, so that the two unions may begin work on a three-year advanced light source project. Utilisation of Light Source and Crystallographic Sciences to Facilitate the Enhancement of Knowledge and Improve the Economic and Social Conditions in Targeted Regions of the World will focus on lightsources for Africa, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Over the next three years, the aims of the project include the creation of print materials to better explain light sources and the field of crystallography, the launching of five more crystallography laboratories in various parts of the world, and the international exchange of students and researchers.

The project will be led by Sekazi K. Mtingwa and Sandro Scandolo of the IUPAP C13 Commission, and Michele Zema of the IUCr. Partnering organizations will include ICSU Regional Offices, the International Union of Materials Research Societies, the International Centre for Theoretical Physics, and UNESCO.

2017 ACA Summer Course Unites Experts Around the World
The University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University have co-hosted the ACA Summer Course in Chemical Crystallography since 2012. This year the course was held at Northwestern University from June 25th – July 2nd.

The 2017 summer course had 26 attendees from across the globe, including Canada, South Korea, Uruguay, Venezuela, and the U.S., from academia and industry. 18 faculty experts in the field of either or both single crystal and powder diffraction led the sessions. Together, students and instructors collected 18 successful single crystal data sets and a number of powder diffractograms as well. Overall, the course was very well received by both students and instructors. The summer course has already proven to promote networking among all that are involved. As in past years, publication of collection diffraction data was encouraged during the course with a request that an acknowledgment to the ACA summer course be included. The course organizers were Charlotte Stern (Northwestern U), Christos Malliakas (Northwestern U), Allen Oliver (U Notre Dame), and Amy Sarjeant (CCDC).

For more information, please see the course website:

IUCr Releases "A Little Dictionary of Crystallography" (2017)
The IUCr Commission on Crystallographic Nomenclature has released the second edition of its "Little Dictionary of Crystallography." This book is meant to be a physical companion to the IUCr's Online Dictionary of Crystallography, and is available for purchase on

IUCr Launches New Webpage: "Crystallography Around the World"
As of March 15, 2016, the IUCr website features a new "Crystallography Around the World" page, which serves as a repository to centralize union activities and practitioners. Users can select their country of interest, then browse associations, past and future events, membership lists, and photo galleries. Click here to view the U.S. subpage.

Impact of 2014's International Year of Crystallography

In 1912 Max von Laue showed that X-rays were diffracted by crystals, and in 1913 W. H. and W. L. Bragg demonstrated that the diffraction of X-rays can be used to determine the positions of atoms within a crystal. These groundbreaking experiments mark the birth of modern crystallography. The International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) marked the centennial of these events by declaring 2014 the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr2014).  the International Year of Crystallography website.

As part of the IYCr2014, the USNC/Cr held a "Crystallography World of Wonders" (CWOW) workshop for teachers at the 2014 ACA meeting. CWOW produced another two workshops at NSTA meetings in Boston and Long Beach, as well as a crystal growing contest for American high school students.

The importance of crystallography for chemistry and a variety of other scientific fields was highlighted in an article by USNC/IUPAC member Julia Chan, Jennifer Aitken, and Susan Latturner. Their article, "Celebrating Crystallography," can be found in Volume 92 of Chemical and Engineering News.


Open Access Crystallography: 3D Print Files
Through private funds, the USNC/Cr has supported a project to make interactive 3D visualizations of crystal structures and morphologies accessible to the public. Portland State University’s Nano-Crystallography Group website can be utilized to create classroom demonstrations in introductory materials science and engineering courses, as well as in introductory nano-science and nano-technology courses. All of the crystallographic data featured can be freely accessed by anyone. For more details, please visit Portland State University's Nano-Crystallography Group website



Activities and Events

USNC/Cr Funding Support Application

USNC/Cr Letter of Endorsement Application
Resource Links
IUCr Webpage
Contact the USNC/Cr

Ana Ferreras, Senior Program Officer
Pam Gamble, Administrative Associate

More resources on the USNC/Cr

The 2014 USNC/Cr brochure is now available online as a PDF for download.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number PHY-1441995. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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