Metal Processing Institute
Advanced Casting Research Center

The ACRC Team


Makhlouf M. Makhlouf

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, WPI; Director, ACRC
B.S., American University (Cairo), 1978; M.S., New Mexico State University, 1981; Ph.D., WPI, 1989
Solidification of metals, the application of heat, mass and momentum transfer to modeling and solving engineering materials problems, and processing of ceramic materials.

Makhlouf M. Makhlouf is professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Advanced Casting Research Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).  Before joining WPI, Makhlouf was senior research engineer at Bay State, a division of Dresser Industries.  He received the BS degree, with high honors, from the American University in Cairo and the Ph.D. from WPI.  Makhlouf’s teaching and research focus on materials processing, particularly solidification of metals, and the application of thermodynamics, kinetics, and the concepts of heat and mass transfer to modeling mechanisms and processes in materials science and engineering.  Makhlouf received several awards including the Hall-Heroult Scientific Merit Award and the Best Paper Award from the American Foundry Society (AFS), the Flemings Award from the Advanced Casting Research Center (ACRC), and the Uhlig Award from the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE).  He was the Foundry Engineering Foundation (FEF) Professor at WPI between 1992 and 2003, and serves on several committees of the American Foundry Society and the North American Die Casting Association.

View Professor Makhlouf's publications

Diran Apelian

Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Director, MPI
Personal Homepage
B.S., Drexel University, 1968; Sc.D., MIT, 1972
Solidification processing, spray casting, molten metal processing, aluminum foundry processing, plasma processing, and knowledge engineering in materials processing.

Diran Apelian is Howmet Professor of Engineering and Director of the Metal Processing Institute at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).  He received his B.S. degree in metallurgical engineering from Drexel University in 1968 and his doctorate in materials science and engineering from MIT in 1972.  He worked at Bethlehem Steel’s Homer Research Laboratories before joining Drexel University’s faculty in 1976.  At Drexel he held various positions, including professor, head of the Department of Materials Engineering, associate dean of the College of Engineering and vice-provost of the University.  He joined WPI in July 1990 as the Institute’s Provost. In 1996 he returned to the faculty and leads the activities of the Metal Processing Institute. 

He is credited with pioneering work in various areas of solidification processing and powder metallurgy – specifically in molten metal processing, aluminum alloy development, plasma deposition, spray casting/forming, and semi-solid processing of metals.  Apelian is the recipient of many distinguished honors and awards – national and international; he has over 500 publications to his credit; and serves on several technical, corporate and editorial boards. During 2008/2009, he served as President of TMS. Apelian is a Fellow of TMS, ASM, and APMI; he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the Armenian Academy of Sciences.

Download his biography (94KB PDF file)
View Professor Apelian's publications

Affiliated Faculty

ACRC is a virtual enterprise in that some of the research work is carried out with colleagues at other universities. The faculty listed below are affiliated with ACRC:

Lars Arnberg

Professor of Metallurgy, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Visiting Professor, WPI;
Ph.D., Stockholm University, 1979
Casting and solidification of aluminum and magnesium alloys, nucleation, grain refinement and structure evolution.

Lars Arnberg received his doctorate degree in Inorganic Chemistry from Stockholm University in 1979. After spending 2 years as a post doc at MIT, he was hired by the Swedish Institute of Metals Research where he conducted research on powder metallurgy and rapid solidification technology and managed a research department. In 1990, Lars Arnberg was appointed a Professor of Metallurgy at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His main field of research and teaching is solidification and casting of metals, particularly light metals. This research includes fundamental studies of crystal nucleation and growth as well as studies of casting defects and process technology. Lars Arnberg has a wide international network; he has research cooperation with leading groups in the area of solidification in Europe, USA and Australia. He has more than 150 publications and has received international rewards for his research.

Weidong Huang

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Director, State Key Laboratory of Solidification Processing, Northwestern Polytechnic University, Xi’an, China
B.S., Northwestern Polytechnic University, 1982; M.S., 1984; Ph.D., 1989
Solidification processing, laser processing of metals, crystal growth.

Dr. Weidong Huang is Professor of College of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern Polytechnic University. Currently, he is the director of the State Key Lab. of Solidification Processing. He has received several distinguished honors and awards for his outstanding work on crystal growth and laser materials processing. Dr. Huang has over 50 publications to his credit.

Sumanth Shankar

Associate Professor and Braley-Orlick Chair for Advanced Manufacturing, McMaster University
Visiting Professor, WPI
+1-905-525-9140, ext 26473;
B.Tech., Institute of Technology - Banaras Hindu University, India, 1996; Ph.D., WPI, 2000.

Sumanth Shankar's current research interests encompass the study of the evolution of the eutectic microstructure in aluminum-silicon casting alloys, interaction between molten aluminum and ferrous die materials, die materials engineering and coatings, aluminum casting and alloy characterization, molten aluminum handling, cleaning and processing, and grain refinement in aluminum alloys. Sumanth has vast experience in various material characterization techniques such as optical microscopy, SEM, image analysis, etc. His doctoral work was mainly focused on the reaction mechanisms between molten aluminum alloy and ferrous die materials in permanent mold and die casting.

Research Staff

Libo Wang

Research Professor, WPI
M.S., Tsinghua University at Beijing, China; Ph.D., Drexel University
Chemistry-microstructure-performance relationships of aluminum foundry alloys, heat treatment and rheocasting.

Libo Wang graduated from the Metallurgial Engineering Department at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and received his doctorate in materials engineering from Drexel University. He worked at a casting machinery research institute and a machine tool foundry in China for over 10 years. Before coming to the U.S., he was a lecturer at Northwestern Polytechnic University in China. Wang's doctoral work focused on the lost-foam casting process. He joined ACRC in 1986. His recent research areas include chemistry-microstructure-performance relationships of aluminum foundry alloys, metal cleanliness, aluminum foundry alloy heat treatment, and rheocasting. He has more than 30 scientific publications.

 Support Staff

Carol A. Garofoli

Director of Operations, MPI
A.S., Becker Junior College, 1972; B.S., Worcester State College, 1982; M.B.A., Assumption College, 1998

Carol Garofoli has held various positions in academic administration at WPI and, from 1990 to 1996, was director of academic operations in the Provost's Office. She holds a B.S. in business management and an M.B.A. As MPI's Director of Operations, she is the primary liaison with WPI's accounting, purchasing and human resources offices, and is responsible for interacting with MPI's consortium companies. Garofoli facilitates MPI activities for programs and oversees its web site and communications.

Maureen Plunkett

Administrative Assistant, MPI
B.S. Assumption College, 2008

Maureen Plunkett supports the administrative and liaison activities of the Metal Processing Institute.

Renee Brodeur

Assistant Manager of Operations, MPI
B.S. Electrical Engineering, WPI, 1983

Renee Brodeur has worked in the high-tech computer and network industries for corporations such as Hughes Aircraft, MITRE, Prime Computer, Sequoia Systems, Sonus Networks, and most recently Motorola.  She has experience in many areas of the product development life cycle including firmware/software development, systems engineer, quality assurance, and technical writing.  Renee returns to WPI as part of the MPI administrative team.  In her role as Assistant Manager of Operations, she is responsible for maintaining MPI's financial accounts and web presence, and helping with general activities of the MPI office.

Research Students

Inigo Anza, Research Assistant
Yang Yang Fan, Research Assistant
Paul Gasper, Research Assistant
Shaymus Hudson, Research Assistant
Theodoros Koutsoukis, Research Scientist


At-Large Members

David Weiss

Eck Industries

David Weiss is responsible for development and application of high performance alloys and casting concepts for the foundry and their customers.  Eck Industry is an acknowledged leader in the production of high strength aluminum alloy and aluminum alloy composite castings.  Weiss participated in the development of the lost foam casting process for magnesium alloys for which he shared the Howard Taylor Award from the American Foundry Society (AFS), has worked on modified low pressure casting techniques for sand molds and has patented a hybrid high-pressure shell casting process. He received a second Howard Taylor Award for his work on low pressure casting of magnesium.

John L. Jorstad

Director-at-Large Emeritus
JLJ Technologies, Inc.

From 1957 to 1993, John Jorstad was with Reynolds Metals Company where he played a key role in the development of aluminum alloys and metal casting processes. He is credited for much of the development that led to the Al-Si 390 hypereutectic alloy. Prior to joining Formcast in 1999, he was director of aluminum development for CMI-Tech Center Inc., the sales and engineering arm of CMI International Inc. (now Hayes-Lemmerz Inc.). Jorstad has been honored by NADCA, ASM and AFS for his many contributions to the industry. He has authored more than 50 articles related to aluminum casting.

Industry Leadership - Steering Committee

Kevin Anderson
Mercury Marine

Roger England
Cummins Inc.  

ATEK Precision Castings
Jerry Kucharczyk

Denis Massinon

Jim Onders
General Aluminum Mfg. Co. 

Jose Talamates-Silva

David Weiss
Eck Industries 



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Last modified: September 04, 2014 13:44:24