WPI Appoints Brajendra Mishra Associate Director of the Metal Processing Institute

Currently a professor at the Colorado School of Mines, Mishra is associate director of the NSF-funded Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling, which is headquartered at WPI

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Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) today announced that Brajendra Mishra, PhD, has been appointed associate director of the university's Metal Processing Institute (MPI). Currently a professor of corrosion and physiochemical processing at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Mishra is also associate director of the Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling (CR3), an NSF-supported, multi-university research collaborative headquartered at WPI.

Mishra, who will also serve as Kenneth G. Merriam Professor of Mechanical Engineering, will join the WPI faculty in August.

"I am thrilled to be able to welcome Brajendra to the WPI community," Eric Overström, WPI's provost and senior vice president, said. "As a distinguished scholar and leader in his field, he not only bolsters the tremendous and internationally recognized work we are doing in materials science and engineering, he doubles down on the leadership for the world-renowned Metal Processing Institute."

As associate director of the Metal Processing Institute, Mishra will help oversee the largest industry-university alliance in North America. Founded in 1996 by Diran Apelian, Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering at WPI, the institute is dedicated to advancing the field of materials processing through research in the areas of metal casting (in the Advanced Casting Research Center, or ACRC), heat treating (in the Center for Heat Treating Excellence, or CHTE), and resource recovery and recycling (in the Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling, or CR3).

CR3 is a member-driven collaborative, led by researchers at WPI, CSM, and KU Leuven in Belgium, that advance technologies for recovering, recycling, and reusing materials throughout the manufacturing process. It was established in 2010 with the aid of a five-year, $400,000 award through the National Science Foundation's Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program and recently received a five-year Phase II Collaborative Research Award expected to total $463,000. With Mishra’s departure from CSM, Corby Aderson, Harrison-Western Professor of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at CSM, will take on the responsibilities of CR3's associate director.

"Succession planning for the leadership of MPI has been on our radar screen for the last few years, and I am thrilled that Brajendra Mishra is joining us," Apelian said. "Our whole team is looking forward to welcoming and working with him. Mishra and I started CR3 together five years ago, and now we will continue building not only CR3, but MPI.”

An internationally known researcher in materials science and engineering, Mishra is currently engaged in work focused on environmental management through the development of chemically benign processes and the development of materials with enhanced properties. His research over the past 25 years has been supported by more than $37 million in sponsored awards from multiple federal agencies, national laboratories, and industry. He is the author of more than 600 publications, including more than 240 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has also edited 18 books and written seven chapters on chemical processing and extractive metallurgy.

"I am excited to join such an innovative and forward-thinking university, one known for its exceptional academic and research programs in materials science and engineering." Mishra said. "I look forward to the challenge of building a new world-class education and research program in materials, energy, and environment at WPI that will have particular relevance to the recovery and recycling of materials."

Mishra served as president of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers from 2007 to 2012 and was president of TMS (the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society) in 2006. At TMS, he oversaw the development of a strategic plan for the organization and launched the Materials Bowl, an intercollegiate challenge. He has chaired and organized numerous international conferences and symposia, delivered invited keynotes lectures at several national and international technical meetings, and serves on the review board of several journals focused on process metallurgy, including the editorial boards of the Journal of High Temperature Chemical Processing and the Transactions of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

His scholarship and leadership have been honored with a number of awards, including Honorary Membership, the highest award bestowed by the Indian Institute of Metals; the Alexander Scott Distinguished Service Award from TMS; and the Presidential Citation from AIME. He is a member of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society of AIME, the American Society for Materials International, and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers International.

In addition to serving as a professor at the Colorado School of Mines, Mishra is also associate director of the Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy and lead scientist for the Department of Energy Critical Materials Institute, both located at Mines. He received a BTech in materials engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and an MS and a PhD in materials science from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.