Diana Lados, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and director of the university's Integrative Materials Design Center (iMdc), is among 87 young engineers selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) 16th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium. Chosen from more than 260 applicants, the participants, all engineers aged 30 to 45 working in industry, academia, and government, were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations and selected based on their exceptional engineering research and technical work. Lados is the first WPI professor chosen to participate in this prestigious program.
To be held Sept. 23-25 at the IBM Learning Center in Armonk, N.Y., the symposium will examine cloud computing, autonomous aerospace systems, engineering and music, and engineering inspired by biology. Bernard S. Meyerson, IBM Fellow and vice president of innovation, will be among the featured speakers. The meeting is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Cummins Inc., the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Defense (DDR&E), the Grainger Foundation, IBM, Microsoft Research, and the National Science Foundation.
"As we face the challenges the next century brings, we will rely more than ever on innovative engineers," said NAE President Charles M. Vest. "The U.S. Frontiers of Engineering program is an opportunity for a diverse group of this country's most promising young engineers to gather together and discuss multidisciplinary ways of leading us into the economy of tomorrow."
"The Frontiers of Engineering program brings together the nation's brightest and most accomplished young engineers," said Eric Overstrom, WPI's provost ad interim. "It is a distinguished honor to be invited, and I am delighted that the NAE has chosen to bestow this important national recognition on our own Diana Lados."
"It is my distinct honor to join other young professionals in participating in NAE’s 2010 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering program," Lados said. "This is an important opportunity for participants to discuss future directions and challenges in various engineering fields, and more important, to forge research collaborations between these fields and inspire research interests and prospective thinking outside the participants’ primary areas of research. This will also be a great forum to share WPI's outstanding activities and programs."
The NAE honor adds to earlier recognition for Lados's significant accomplishments. Earlier this year she received the 2010 Sigma Xi Outstanding Junior Faculty Researcher Award from WPI and the Robert Lansing Hardy Award, which honors young metallurgists who demonstrate "exceptional promise of a successful career in the broad field of metallurgy and materials science," from The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS). She was named to Foundry Management & Technology magazine's 2009 list of Metalcasting's Next Generation of Future Leaders, and in 2008 she received the Orr Early Career Award and the Orr Best Paper Award from the Materials Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
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 earned BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering at Polytechnic University of Bucharest and an MS in mechanical engineering at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She was named a tenure-track assistant professor of mechanical engineering at WPI in 2007, the year she also established 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 membership includes some of the world's largest manufacturing companies and several government organizations.
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 and nuclear applications, solidification processing and heat treatment, and aluminum foundry engineering. In addition to her early career awards, she has received the Axel Madsen Award from the Center for Powder Metallurgy Technology, the Sigma Xi Graduate Research Scientific Award for the best PhD thesis, the American Foundry Society's Aluminum Division Scholarship Award, and the ASM Worcester Chapter Chester M. Inman Award.
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, a TMS representative in the Material Advantage Committee, past chair of the ASM Worcester chapter, and incoming chair of the board of review for the journal Metallurgical and Materials Transactions.
About the National Academy of Engineering
The National Academy of Engineering is an independent, nonprofit institution that serves as an adviser to government and the public on issues in engineering and technology. Its members consist of the nation's premier engineers, who are elected by their peers for their distinguished achievements. Established in 1964, NAE operates under the congressional charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences in 1863.
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the nation's first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees. WPI's world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, information security, materials processing, and nanotechnology. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Projects Program. There are more than 25 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.