X. George Xu

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Xie George Xu
Born (1962-06-13) 13 June 1962 (age 56)
Wuhan, China
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Texas A&M University (Ph.D.)
Xidian University (B.S.)
Known for Monte Carlo simulations, Radiation dosimetry, Computational human phantoms
Scientific career
Fields Nuclear Engineering
Health Physics
Institutions Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Xie George Xu (born June 13, 1962 in Wuhan, China) is currently a Professor and Head of the Nuclear Engineering Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, New York.

George Xu (徐榭) received a B.S. in Physics from Xidian University in Xi’an, China in 1983. After working several years, he came to study in the United States, where he received a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1994. He then joined RPI as Assistant Professor (with a joint appointment as the Director of the Office Radiation and Nuclear Safety) and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2001 and then Professor in 2006. In 2011, he was appointed the Head of Nuclear Engineering Program at RPI. In 2012, Xu was elected a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society, making him the first China-born scholar ever to be elected to receive this honor. Xu is also the first China-born to have served as the head of a Nuclear Engineering program at an American university.

Xu heads the Rensselaer Radiation Measurement and Dosimetry Group (RRDMG).[1] He and his colleagues are interested in novel computational and experimental methods that have important and diverse applications in radiation protection, radiation measurement, shielding design, reactor modeling, medical imaging, and radiotherapy. In particular, he uses Monte Carlo simulations as a research tool and has more than 20 years of experience in various production Monte Carlo codes. His recent research projects have included such diverse topics as parallel Monte Carlo computing using GPU/CUDA, nanomaterials-based x-ray sources, CT imaging and proton radiotherapy, compressive sensing for nuclear detection, and the ARCHER Monte Carlo testbed project. Xu has directed numerous projects, with a total funding of about $15 million from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Electric Power Research Institute, as well as private nuclear power industry including Entergy Nuclear. Xu has graduated 15 Ph.D. and 10 M.S. students. and he has authored or co-authored 140 peer-reviewed full papers and chapters, 250 conference abstracts, 90 invited seminars and presentations, 5 patents/disclosures and 5 software packages. An internationally recognized leading expert in Monte Carlo computation and radiation protection dosimetry, Xu has co-founded the International Consortium of Computational Human Phantoms and co-edited Handbook of Anatomical Models for Radiation Dosimetry.

Research contributions[edit]

Xu and his students pioneered a method to use cadaver images to construct voxel human phantoms that are anatomically realistic. Xu et al. 2000 reported, for the first time, a method in adopting a set of high-fidelity color image dataset from the Visible Human Project to develop the VIP-Man phantom which remains today to be one of the “finest” voxel phantoms with a voxel size of 0.33mm x 0.33mm x 1 mm.[2] The phantom sets a world record in the total number of voxels in Monte Carlo simulations ¾ 4 billion voxels which required special treatment in the Monte Carlo code. The methodology behind the development of VIP-Man phantom represented a breakthrough in using “voxels” in Monte Carlo dose calculations for the human body. This is the first time when the bone marrow and eye lenses were directly segmented and identified in the phantom for radiation dosimetry purposes. His group was the first to have developed a capability in using four different Monte Carlo codes (MCNP, MCNPX, EGS, GEANT4) for voxel phantom dose calculations involving photons, electrons, protons, and many other heavy ions. The VIP-Man phantom, which has been shared with more than 100 researchers worldwide, made it possible to study radiation dosimetry in health physics as well as medical physics (medical imaging and radiotherapy). As of May 15, 2012, this paper has been cited 266 times and, according to Google Scholar, is the most cited paper in “computational dosimetry phantoms”. For this work, Dr. Xu was awarded the National Science Foundation’s Faculty CAREER Award in 1999. He is one of the few nuclear engineering faculty members who have received this highly selective award.

Xu et al. 2007 reported a method for developing the 3rd-generation computational phantoms using the so-called “boundary representation (BREP)” geometry – NURBS and triangular meshes developed by the computer graphics community.[3] Dr. Xu and students demonstrated, for the first time, that it was possible to rapidly create phantoms representing a pregnant mother at the end of 3-, 6-, and 9-month gestational periods without relying on patient images that are difficult to obtain for pregnant patients. This innovative method also afforded the ability to simulate changes in human posture as well as physiology-caused organ deformation such as respiration. This paper was rated among 10 of the best and most popular articles by the journal of Physics in Medicine & Biology and was one of the finalists for the Roberts’ Prize in 2007.

Han et al. 2010 investigated a pair of phantoms that represent individuals walking on contaminated ground.[4]

Ding et al. 2012 examined the effect of obesity on the calculated radiation dose from CT.[5] Xu and his students developed the first set of overweight and obese phantoms.[citation needed] This was the most downloaded PMB article in 2012.[6] This study received more than 130 pieces of worldwide media coverage about this study (within 30 days after the publication).[citation needed]

In 2005, Dr. Xu co-founded the Consortium of Computational Human Phantoms (CCHP) -- an international collaborative project that promotes research and standardization among researchers. As part of the CCHP’s initiatives, Dr. Xu co-edited the “Handbook of Anatomical Models for Radiation Dosimetry” that provides, for the first time, a comprehensive summary of 50 years of research related to computational phantoms for radiation dosimetry. After two years of preparation involving 60 authors from 13 countries, the 30-chapter book was published in 2009. Following the publication of this important book, Dr. Xu continued to play a leading role in the international community by organizing and chairing The Third International Workshop on Computational Phantoms for Radiation Protection, Imaging and Radiotherapy in Beijing, China on August 8 and 9, 2011.[7]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • Fellow, American Nuclear Society (ANS) (2012) - In recognition of “ground-breaking research and technical leadership in computational phantoms and Monte Carlo simulation methods for nuclear engineering, health physics and medical physics problems that resulted in significant advancements in the field of radiation dosimetry and that impacted practices in radiation protection, imaging and radiotherapy both nationally and internationally.”[8]

Book chapters and invited journal reviews[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.rpi.edu/dept/radsafe/public_html/index.htm[full citation needed]
  2. ^ Xu XG, Chao TC, Bozkurt A (May 2000). "VIP-Man: an image-based whole-body adult male model constructed from color photographs of the Visible Human Project for multi-particle Monte Carlo calculations". Health Physics. 78 (5): 476–86. doi:10.1097/00004032-200005000-00003. PMID 10772019. 
  3. ^ Xu XG, Taranenko V, Zhang J, Shi C (December 2007). "A boundary-representation method for designing whole-body radiation dosimetry models: pregnant females at the ends of three gestational periods--RPI-P3, -P6 and -P9". Physics in Medicine and Biology. 52 (23): 7023–44. doi:10.1088/0031-9155/52/23/017. PMID 18029991. 
  4. ^ Han B, Zhang J, Na YH, Caracappa PF, Xu XG (October 2010). "Modelling and Monte Carlo organ dose calculations for workers walking on ground contaminated with Cs-137 and Co-60 gamma sources". Radiation Protection Dosimetry. 141 (3): 299–304. doi:10.1093/rpd/ncq184. PMC 3145389Freely accessible. PMID 20663852. 
  5. ^ Ding A, Mille MM, Liu T, Caracappa PF, Xu XG (May 2012). "Extension of RPI-adult male and female computational phantoms to obese patients and a Monte Carlo study of the effect on CT imaging dose". Physics in Medicine and Biology. 57 (9): 2441–59. doi:10.1088/0031-9155/57/9/2441. PMC 3329718Freely accessible. PMID 22481470. 
  6. ^ "PMB: the top ten of 2012 - MedicalPhysicsWeb". medicalphysicsweb.org. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  7. ^ http://www.virtualphantoms.org/3rdWorkshopInBeijing.html[full citation needed][non-primary source needed]
  8. ^ http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=3119