Committee Biographical Information
Joseph G.Wirth, Chair, retired as senior vice president and chief technical officer at Raychem Corporation, where he served as manager of worldwide technology with responsibility for corporate manufacturing and new business development. Dr. Wirth integrated new business directions into Raychem’s existing manufacturing structure. Previously, he had worked at General Electric (GE), where he served as technology leader for the silicones business and vice president of the technology division for GE’s plastics business. He is the inventor of polyetherimides, a fire-resistant plastic used in aircraft interiors and other industrial and consumer applications. He holds various patents in the high-performance polymer area and is the author of numerous publications. Dr. Wirth has served on several National Research Council (NRC) committees, including as chair of the Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design and as a member of the National Materials Advisory Board.
Viola L.Acoff is associate professor in the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at the University of Alabama, where she has taught for 10 years. Dr. Acoff teaches courses in welding metallurgy, physical metallurgy, and scanning electron microscopy. Her research interests include the following: the microstructural evolution of the fusion- and heat-affected zones; high-temperature materials; electron microscopy; weldability and computer modeling of advanced materials; the effect of orientation on weld properties; indentation behavior of materials, particularly joining and interfacial structures; processing of alloys by cold-roll bonding; and the evaluation of contact angles of lead-free solders on copper substrates. Dr. Acoff is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the Adams Memorial Membership Award (2000), presented by the American Welding Society; Best Paper Award for TMS (The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society) Symposium on Gamma Titanium Aluminides (1999); TMS Young Leader Intern (1998); National Science Foundation CAREER Award (1997); Warren F.Savage Memorial Award (1996), from the American Welding Society; International Business Machines Award for Excellence (1992); and First Place Award for Best Physical Sciences Paper (1991), from the Microscopy Society of America. Dr. Acoff is active in professional societies, including the American Welding Society, TMS, and ASM International.
Alexis G.Clare is a professor of glass science at Alfred University. Her research interests include relationships of structure and optical properties in glasses, biological applications of glasses, optically active glasses, and the structure of glasses by neutron and X-ray diffraction. She is the author or co-author of more than 65 published papers and 6 book chapters, and the editor of 3 books. She also holds a U.S patent. Dr. Clare has been active in many professional societies, serving as president of the National Institute for Ceramic Engineers (2003) and chair of the Glass and Optical Materials Division of the American Ceramic Society (1998). She is a fellow of both the United Kingdom’s Society of Glass
Technology and the American Ceramic Society. Dr. Clare has received numerous awards, including the Vittorio Gottardi Prize for Glass Science from the International Commission on Glass (2000) and the Karl Schwartzwalder PACE (Professional Achievement in Ceramic Engineering) Award from the National Institute of Ceramic Engineers. She was a member of the NRC Committee on the Utilization of Russian Technologies.
Kevin A.Davis is manager of business development at Reaction Engineering International, a research and development consulting firm with expertise in combustion and environmental solutions, where he has led projects in combustion research and product and technology development. His efforts have included successful programs spanning a range of technical areas, including nitrogen oxide/limiting oxygen index relationships in coal-fired boilers, heterogeneous catalysis/adsorption/reaction, mineral concentrate combustion, and fluidized-bed applications. Previously, Dr. Davis had worked at Sandia National Laboratories, serving as principal investigator of research programs in the areas of droplet and char combustion. His service there included work acknowledged by the Combustion Institute with its Silver Medal. His graduate research developed a thermodynamic foundation and experimental evidence establishing the feasibility of a flame synthesis technique for producing nanoscale particles of several important classes of ceramics. Dr. Davis has authored several publications on these topics.
Nicholas J.Gianaris is senior engineering specialist in materials and processes engineering at General Dynamics Land Systems. His responsibilities include technical management of system design and integration for the Future Combat System program. Prior to joining General Dynamics, he served as lightweight materials specialist for Ford Motor Company-Visteon Chassis Systems. There he was responsible for technical management and implementation of cost-effective optimized designs and processes, with the goal of providing low-mass solutions to improve vehicle fuel economy, performance, and safety. Dr. Gianaris has also served as senior technical specialist in the Helicopter Division of the Boeing Company, where he was responsible for the integration of all technical requirements for all design and manufacturing functions of the commercial tiltrotor program and for management of the materials and processes laboratories. He is the owner or co-owner of six U.S. patents, the co-founder and co-owner of a nondestructive evaluation company, and the author of numerous technical publications. He is active in several professional societies, including ASM International, for which he is chair of the Ground Transportation Committee; the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, for which he is also chair of the Ground Transportation Committee; and the Society of Automotive Engineers. Dr. Gianaris is a fellow of ASM International.
Joanna R.Groza is professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of California, Davis. Her research interests include materials processing and characterization, mechanisms of nanoparticle consolidation, plasma effects in plasma-activated sintering, and processing/microstructure property relationships. She is the author of numerous publications. Dr. Groza previously served on the NRC Panel to Review Air Force Office of Scientific Research Proposals.
Warren H.Hunt, Jr. is president of Aluminum Consultants Group, Inc., a consulting firm in aluminum metallurgy and processing. Prior to forming Aluminum Consultants, Dr. Hunt spent 19 years at the Alcoa Technical Center, where he held positions in aluminum materials development and research and development management. His responsibilities included the implementation and management of materials development projects in a range of markets such as automotive, aerospace, and electronic packaging. This work resulted in eight patents for innovative alloys and processes, two of which were recognized with Industrial Research (IR) 100 Awards and internal Alcoa awards. Dr. Hunt is the author of more than 40 technical papers and the editor of 3 books on materials development. He is active in professional organizations, serving as chair of the Public and Governmental Affairs Committee of TMS and as a member of the Aluminum Association Technical Advisory Committee. He is a fellow of ASM International.
George D.Pfaffmann is (semiretired) vice president of technology for Ajax Magnethermic TOCCO, Inc., a developer, designer, and manufacturer of furnaces for induction heating and melting manufacturing systems and a contract heat-treating company. Mr. Pfaffmann has broad expertise in heat-treating process engineering. He has worked for TOCCO since 1952 through a number of mergers and consolidations. Previous positions that he held at the company include the following: director of TOCCO heat-treating operations, vice president of technology laboratory and service operations, vice president of international marketing and technology, and director of marketing and technical services. Mr. Pfaffmann is the author of numerous technical publications and the owner or co-owner of 29 U.S. patents. He has served in a number of professional associations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASM International, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the Society of Automotive Engineers. He is a fellow of ASM International.
Peter H.Pfromm is Cargill Fellow in Bioprocessing and associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Kansas State University. His expertise includes gaseous membrane separations, electrochemical separations, specialty separations, separation processes for closed-cycle manufacturing, paper recycling, and polymer science. Previously, Dr. Pfromm worked at the Institute for Paper Science and Technology, Membrane Research and Technology, Inc., and the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology in Stuttgart, Germany. Dr. Pfromm is active in a number of professional societies, including the North American Membrane Society, the American Chemical Society, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, for which he has served as secretary of the Forest Products Division. He served on two previous NRC committees—the Committee on Materials Technologies for Process Industries and the Panel on Separation Technology for Industrial Recycling and Reuse. Dr. Pfromm is the co-owner of two U.S. patents and has published more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles.
William H.Plenge is founder and president of Potomac Services International, a consulting firm specializing in technology insertion, market development, and strategic planning. He spent 10 years at the American Concrete Institute where he served concurrently as managing director of the Strategic Development Council, a strategic forum for senior executives from 65 member organizations, and as director of Washington operations. His responsibilities included the following: creating and managing the concrete industry’s Strategic Development Council; organizing and facilitating the industry’s production of a 30-year vision document, a 30-year research and development master plan, and a strategic solution document for reducing technology acceptance times; establishing the Washington office; and co-authoring a $320 million proposal for the Focused Program Area for High-Performance Concrete of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Advanced Technology Program. Prior to that, he spent 21 years at Deere & Company, rising to the position of vice president of John Deere Technologies International and head of Deere’s Washington Technology Marketing Office.
Jeffrey J.Siirola (NAE) is Technology Fellow at Eastman Chemical Company. His research interests involve chemical process engineering and conceptual process design theory and application, including the synthesis of process flowsheet alternatives, process simulation, optimization, capital and operating cost estimation, waste minimization, resource conservation and recovery, technology assessment, and financial analysis. He has been involved in the development, implementation, and application of computer-aided chemical process synthesis methods and tools in both academic and industrial settings. Dr. Siirola has served on a number of NRC committees and boards, including the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, the Chemical Engineering Peer Committee, and the Committee on Challenges for the Chemical Sciences in the 21st Century. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
T.S.Sudarshan is president and chief executive officer of Materials Modification, Inc. He is responsible for the management and technical development of innovative materials, processes, and techniques, and for the coordination of federally and industrially sponsored research programs within several industries,
including the steel industry. Dr. Sudarshan has served as the principal investigator of several programs in the development of diamond thin films, solid lubricants for space structures in conjunction with the European Space Agency, nontoxic lubricants for automobile applications, accelerated corrosion testing, synthesis and consolidation of nanostructured materials, and development of lightweight carbon-carbon pistons. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Design News Award and R&D 100 for the microwave plasma technique Nanogen and for the Plasma Pressure Compaction technique. He has served on numerous committees of the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and ASM International. Dr. Sudarshan is the author of more than 125 published proceedings and journal articles and presentations. He is the co-editor of two journals, Materials and Manufacturing Processes and Surface Engineering, and has co-edited 18 books on various aspects of surface modification technologies. He is a fellow of ASM International and the International Federation for Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering.
Richard E.Tressler is professor emeritus in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. His research interests include the following: thermodynamic stability of advanced ceramics in energy conversion systems and high-temperature processing plants; improvements in materials and protection schemes through understanding the rate-limiting reactions and local thermodynamic equilibria of the processes that control corrosion and substrate degradation; long-term reliability of advanced structural ceramics, ceramic fibers, and ceramic-ceramic composites under static or cyclic stresses at elevated temperatures in energy-usage and energy-recovery applications; and development of a design database of reliable tensile properties of commercially available materials. Dr. Tressler has served on many NRC committees, including the Committee on Materials Research for Defense After Next, the Panel on Structural and Multifunctional Materials, the Committee on Advanced Fibers for High-Temperature Ceramic Composites, and the Committee on Ceramic Technology for Advanced Heat Engines.
Courtney A.Young is ASARCO Distinguished Professor of Metallurgical Engineering and head of the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at Montana Tech of the University of Montana, where he has taught for 10 years. His areas of expertise include surface chemistry, electrochemistry, and spectroscopy as applied to all areas of process technology, particularly resource recovery in primary production (i.e., copper, gold, flotation, physical separations, sulfide electrochemistry, and adsorption) as well as secondary production (i.e., cyanide destruction, acid-rock drainage remediation, spent pot liner recycling, and other areas of waste treatment and minimization). Dr. Young has served as principal investigator on numerous research projects and as a consultant for several companies involved in selecting and testing ore-processing options and researching and developing solutions to environmental problems. He is active in professional organizations, including the TMS and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, from which he has received several awards. He is the author of 100 publications and presentations.