Diana Lados Receives Prestigious Minerals, Metals & Materials Society Robert Lansing Hardy Award

The Award Recognizes Young Metallurgists for Exceptional Promise of a Successful Career in the Broad Field of Metallurgy and Materials Science
April 12, 2010

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Diana Lados, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at WPI and director of the university's Integrative Materials Design Center (iMdc), has received the Robert Lansing Hardy Award from The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS). Established in 1955, the society-level award recognizes young metallurgists for “exceptional promise of a successful career in the broad field of metallurgy and materials science.” Lados was honored for her significant contributions to materials science, including her accomplishments in establishing iMdc in 2007. The Hardy Award also includes the Ford Motor Company Scholarship.

“Professor Lados brings great energy and enthusiasm to all of her activities," said WPI Provost John Orr. "I have tremendously enjoyed working with her as she launched the iMdc.”

“It is a great honor to receive this recognition and join a most distinguished group of materials scientists and engineers,” Lados said. “It is my intent to continue the tradition of research excellence established by this award and engage the younger generation in materials science and TMS.”

Lados also recently received the 2010 Sigma Xi Outstanding Junior Faculty Researcher Award at WPI. Among her other honors is inclusion in Foundry Management & Technology magazine's list of Metalcasting's Next Generation of Future Leaders for 2009, the 2008 Orr Early Career Award and the Orr Best Paper Award from the Materials Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in recognition of research excellence in metallurgy and materials science, the CPMT/Axel Madsen Award from the Center for Powder Metallurgy Technology, the Sigma Xi Graduate Research Scientific Award, the American Foundry Society's Aluminum Division Scholarship Award, and the ASM Worcester Chapter Chester M. Inman Award.

Lados joined the WPI faculty in 2006 as a research professor in the university’s Metal Processing Institute (MPI) after completing her PhD in materials science and engineering at the university and holding postdoctoral and research scientist appointments at MPI. She also holds a BS and an MS in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic University of Bucharest and an MS in mechanical engineering from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She was named a tenure-track assistant professor of mechanical engineering at WPI in 2007.

Lados has published more than 50 articles and one book chapter and delivered more than 100 conference and industrial presentations and invited lectures on such topics as design and optimization of materials and processes for fatigue, fatigue crack growth, fracture resistance and fracture mechanics, advanced materials and processes for energy applications, solidification processing and heat treatment, and aluminum foundry engineering.

She was invited to present the Young Leaders Lecture at the 2009 Materials Science and Technology Conference and Exhibition (MS&T’09) and co-organized “Sustainable Materials Processing and Production,” the first symposium of the newly founded Materials and Society committee of TMS, which Lados serves as an at-large member. She is also a founding member of the Women in Materials Science and Engineering Committee of TMS and the incoming chair of the board of review for the prestigious journal Metallurgical and Materials Transactions.

In 2007 she built on her ties with industry to establish iMdc, a successful industry-government-university research and educational alliance dedicated to advancing the state of the art and practice in sustainable materials-process-component design and manufacturing for high-performance, reliability, and recyclability. The center's corporate and government members and supporting members include some of the world’s largest manufacturing companies, among them Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, General Motors, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Pratt & Whitney, and Sikorsky and also such governmental organizations as the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and Benet Laboratories.

In addition to her scientific and academic accomplishments, Lados has contributed to campus cultural initiatives. She recently organized “Beauty, Color, and Life,” an exhibit of her photography from around the world now on display in WPI's Gordon Library.