Center for Heat Treating Excellence (CHTE)
Center for Heat Treating Excellence

The CHTE Team

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
Life's Journey Photography Exhibit


Yiming (Kevin) Rong

Professor of Mechanical Engineering
B.S., Harbin University of Science and Technology (China), 1981
M.S., Tsinghua University (China), 1984; M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1987
Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 1989
Numerical modeling and simulation of heat treatment processes, manufacturing processes and systems, fixturing and tooling, CAD/CAM.

Kevin Rong is the Higgins Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of Computer-Aided Manufacturing Laboratory (CAM Laboratory) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). He worked as a faculty member at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale for eight years before joining WPI in 1998. Dr. Rong's research on computer-aided fixture design (CAFD) has been well recognized. He is the principal investigator of many research projects funded by federal agencies and manufacturing companies. Dr. Rong is a fellow of ASME and a member of ASM, SME and ASEE.

Richard D. Sisson Jr.

Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Head, Materials Science and Engineering Program
B.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1969; M.S., Purdue University, 1971; Ph.D., 1975
Materials process modeling and control, manufacturing engineering, corrosion, and environmental effects on metals and ceramics.

Richard Sisson received his B.S. in metallurgical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. After earning his M.S. and Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering from Purdue University, he joined DuPont's Savannah River Laboratory as a research metallurgist. He came to WPI in 1976 as the Morgan Distinguished Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Sisson has also worked at Virginia Polytechnic Institute as an assistant professor of materials science and engineering and at Exxon Chemical as a consulting engineer. His teaching and research has focused on the applications of thermodynamics and kinetics to materials processing and degradation phenomena in metals and ceramics. He has more than 100 publications and has made more than 100 presentations on such topics as heat treating, synthesis of nanocrystalline ceramics, EB-PVD coating deposition kinetics and microstructure, and hydrogen embrittlement of high-strength steels. He is a fellow of ASM International and was elected Vice President for a two-year term effective September, 2005. On April 27, 2006 he was inducted into the Academy of Engineering Excellence at Virginia Tech College of Engineering. In 2007, he received the Chairman's Exemplary Faculty Prize.

Affiliated Faculty

CHTE, located at WPI, is a virtual enterprise in that the research work is carried out at various different universities. One of CHTE's objectives is to establish and develop educational resource groups throughout North America. The faculty listed below, are engaged with CHTE.

Harold Brody

Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Connecticut
S.B., MIT, 1960; S.M., 1961; Sc.D., 1964

Materials processing, solidification and casting, and heat treatment, numerical simulation of materials processing, design of manufacturing processes for castings, and engineering education.

Jinwu Kang, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Department of Mechanical Engineering
Tsinghua University, Beijing, P.R.China

Researching numerical simulation of casting and heat treatment processes, and ERP in foundries. Teaching Multi-component Phase Equilibria, System Engineering and Quality Management.

John Morral

Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
B.S., Ohio State University, 1964; M.S., 1965; Sc.D., MIT, 1969

Physical metallurgy, heat treatment, modeling alloy diffusion, and phase diagram prediction.

Gregory B. Olson

Professor of Materials Science & Engineering
Northwestern University

Gregory B. Olson, FASM, FTMS, is the Wilson-Cook Professor of Engineering Design and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, Director of the Steel Research Group, and a founder of QuesTek Innovations LLC. He received his B.S. and M.S. in 1970 and Sc.D in 1974 in Materials Science from MIT and remained there in a series of senior research positions before joining the faculty of Northwestern in 1988. The author of over 175 publications, his research interests include phase transformations, structure/property relationships, applications of high resolution microanalysis, and materials design.


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 Team

Xiaolan Wang

Graduate Student, WPI





Board of Directors

Alex Brune

Pratt & Whitney - Sikorsky

Steve Ferdon

Cummins Fuel Systems

Mike Pershing (Chair)


John Imundo

The Timken Company

Robert Gaster


Ranajit Ghosh

Air Products

Craig Zimmerman

Bluewater Thermal Solutions

At-Large Member

Roger J. Fabian

Business Development Manager-Eastern Region, Bodycote/Lindberg; Director-at-Large for Industrial Liaison, CHTE
B.S., RPI; M.B.A., 1980

Roger Fabian received his B.S. in metallurgical engineering and his M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has held various positions at Bodycote/Lindberg and has been actively involved in the areas of vacuum heat treating, vacuum brazing, and all areas of heat treating and metals joining. Fabian has taken an active role and has held leadership positions in ASM's Heat Treating Society and the Metal Treating Institute (MTI). He is a fellow of ASM, President of HTS, and past president of MTI. He was one of the core group of heat treaters who envisioned the need for a road map for the industry.

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Last modified: October 17, 2012 14:49:02