Andrew Mabe, a research chemist at the Lab, died June 14. He was 32.
Mabe was born near Memphis, Tennessee, on Nov. 5, 1987, and graduated from the University of Tennessee, where he was a top collegiate scholar. After earning his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and his doctorate in nuclear chemistry, he came to the Lab in 2014 as a postdoctoral researcher, working on multiple projects involving development of new materials for radiation detection.
As a postdoc he developed a multivariate polymerization process that was used to guide production of large-scale plastic scintillators. He also formulated optically transparent lithium- and boron-based plastic scintillators used to fabricate radiation sensors and optical elements for fast and thermal neutron detection. In 2017, Mabe became a research staff member leading multidisciplinary work on development of organic scintillators (plastics, liquids, and crystals) for different homeland security, military and nuclear physics applications.
Despite his short career, Mabe authored five patents and recently started the commercialization process for production of large-scale 6Li-loaded plastics for antineutrino detection.
He worked as a tutor in mathematics and chemistry for high school and college students and was a volunteer with American Red Cross, Baptist Memorial Hospital Emergency Room and American Cancer Society Relay for Life. He also was an avid musician and played seven instruments, including guitar, drums and clarinet.
He is survived by his three children, Alina, Ada and Jessie; his mother and stepfather, Heather and Jon Garrett; three sisters, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
Funeral services were held in Munford, Tennessee on June 26.