Director of WPI's Metal Processing Institute Ponders the Next 50 Years in Materials

Professor Apelian

Materials science and engineering is, perhaps, the oldest field of research and development. Since the Stone Age, people have been experimenting with materials and discovering how to shape, transform, and manufacture them to create tools and other useful products.

Some of the more extraordinary advances in the field occurred during the last half century, a period that coincided with the history of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS). The society is celebrating its 50th anniversary by inviting six “Anniversary Laureates,” esteemed representatives of their professions, to review advancements in materials science over the last 50 years and muse on the future of the field.

The laureates include Diran Apelian, Howmet Professor of Engineering at WPI and director of the university’s Metal Processing Institute. Apelian’s essay, “Looking Beyond the Last 50 Years: The Future of Materials Science and Engineering,” appears in the February issue of JOM, the journal of TMS. He will also present the paper during the 50th Anniversary Plenary Series at the TMS Annual Meeting and Exhibition, which runs from Feb. 25 to March 1 in Orlando, Fla.

Apelian’s paper considers the future of materials and suggests that the materials science and engineering community has an opportunity to truly make a difference by addressing the needs of the world of tomorrow—needs in energy, transportation, housing, food, recycling, and health.

February 2, 2007

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