Worcester Polytechnic Institute Professor Diran Apelian Assumes Presidency of National Materials Society

Apelian is Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering at WPI and founder and director of the University’s Metal Processing Institute
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March 19, 2008

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WORCESTER, Mass.Diran Apelian, Howmet Professor of Mechanical at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and founder and director of the university’s Metal Processing Institute, recently became the 52nd president of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS). Apelian also delivered an address to the 300 TMS members gathered for the organization’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

Read Apelian's first message to the TMS community (695 KB PDF).

TMS is a national professional organization whose members include metallurgical and materials engineers, scientists, researchers, educators and administrators from six continents who focus on the entire range of materials science and engineering, from minerals processing and primary metals production to basic research and the advanced applications of materials.

This is the third year in a row that Apelian has been recognized at the TMS annual meeting. In March 2007, as part of the organization’s 50th anniversary celebration, he received the Acta Materialia Inc. J. Herbert Hollomon Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to interactions between materials science and technology and societal interests, and/or contributions to materials technology that have had a major impact on society; and the Brimacombe Prize, for individuals who have made seminal contributions to the field of process metallurgy. He was also selected as one of six Anniversary Laureates, esteemed representatives of their professions who were asked to deliver major addresses that reviewed advancements in materials science over the last 50 years and mused on the future of the field.

In 2006, the society recognized him as a TMS Fellow, its highest award. There are only 100 living TM Fellows globally. He also received the 2006 Bruce Chalmers Award, which is presented to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the science and technology of solidification science.

Apelian joined WPI in 1990 as university provost. After six years as WPI's chief academic officer, he returned to teaching and research in materials processing. He was also instrumental in establishing the Metals Processing Institute and has served as its director since 1996. The institute is an industry-university alliance dedicated to near net shape manufacturing with centers in metal casting, powder metallurgy, and heat treating. It is supported by more than 110 corporate partners, as well as funding from private foundations and the federal government.

Prior to joining WPI, Apelian earned an undergraduate degree in metallurgical engineering from Drexel University and an Sc.D. in materials science from MIT. He worked at Bethlehem Steel's Homer Research Laboratories before joining Drexel'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. He has over 450 publications to his credit and 11 books, which he co-edited. He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Cast Metals Research, and the Encyclopedia of Materials Science and Engineering. In 2004, he became the first person from WPI to be named a fellow of APMI International, the professional society for individuals involved in powder metallurgy technology and particulate materials.

In 2006, WPI recognized Apelian with the Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship. He is an honorary member of the French Materials Engineering Society and a Fellow of APMI and ASM, in addition to TMS. He was awarded an honorary doctorate and named honorary professor of Northwestern Polytechnic University in Xian, China, in 1997.