Scott Kiff


Graduate student


Phone: 734-936-0123, 734-647-8117





Graduated with Ph.D.

Welcome to the website of the University of Michigan radiation detection group. Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Scott Kiff, and I grew up not very far from Ann Arbor in the northwest-Indiana town of La Porte. I attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, from 1996-2001; there I received the degrees of B.S. and M.S. in nuclear engineering.

For my Ph.D. research, I joined the radiation detection group here in Ann Arbor in June 2002, and since my arrival I have mainly focused on the implementation of Frisch grids alternatives in high-pressure xenon gas ionization chambers. For non-expert visitors, here’s my research in a nutshell: for applications such as homeland security, high-pressure xenon provides an attractive method of detecting radioactive materials crossing the border into the United States. Previous development of detectors using high-pressure xenon has yielded instruments that are quite impressive in laboratory settings, but they are so sensitive to vibrations that if they were actually used for border monitoring, the rumble of a large vehicle passing by would completely destroy the information signal. My research is focused on building a sturdier version of these detectors that will be useful in real-world applications.