But Lin did more than just make the equipment work. She created analysis tools and helped labs not as familiar with spectroscopy to design better and more informative experiments. She read the literature and came up with new ideas and hypotheses. She wrote many of the papers and grants. She literally became a vital scientific member of a half-dozen labs, deeply engaged in their research projects. This was how she remained throughout her time at ASU.

Lin received her Bachelor of Science in physics from Beijing Normal University in 1982 and her Master of Science and PhD in physics from the University of Rochester in 1985 and 1990, respectively. From 1990 to 1991, Lin performed postdoctoral research in physical chemistry at Iowa State University.

The other remarkable aspect of Lin’s leadership of the ultrafast facility is her ability to adapt as technology and science changed. She was always looking for ways to upgrade the facility and make it more accessible to a larger number of researchers. As ultrafast lasers became simpler, she streamlined the less complex systems and automated aspects of them, making room and time for new, cutting-edge equipment and capabilities.

“It is safe to say that Su’s presence at ASU shifted the direction of research of multiple labs and made complex spectroscopy accessible to almost anyone interested in what it could do for them," Woodbury said. "She is an incredible colleague, scientist and friend, and we deeply appreciate all that she has done.”

Jenny Green

Clinical associate professor, School of Molecular Sciences