Distinguished Lecture: The Role of Materials Science and Engineering for Sustainable Development in the 21st Century - Opportunities and Challenges
Abstract: The grand challenges of the 21st century have been well-documented. Without a doubt, sustainable development is among the most urgent challenges, due to population growth, increased consumption, and improved quality of life in developing countries. Energy, food and water, shelter, mobility, and health can be viewed as the five basic pillars of human need, or “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” Each is enabled or greatly impacted by materials, and the 21st century will certainly be viewed as the “age of materials.” As such, materials science and engineering is pivotal for creating sustainable development. Moreover, the solutions for sustainable development rest on three axes: education; policy, standards, and regulations; and technology and innovation. All three solutions must be addressed jointly, as technological innovations alone will not suffice, and all require a global perspective. The path forward will require a paradigm change towards a circular economy. These issues will be addressed and discussed in this presentation.
Biography: Diran Apelian received his bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from Drexel University in 1968 and his doctorate in materials science and engineering from MIT in 1972. He worked at Bethlehem Steel's Homer Research Laboratories before joining Drexel University'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 of the university. He joined WPI in July 1990 as provost. In 1996, he returned to the faculty and now leads the activities of the Metal Processing Institute.
Apelian is credited with pioneering work in solidification processing and powder metallurgy – specifically, molten metal processing, aluminum alloy development, plasma deposition, spray casting/forming, and semi-solid processing of metals. During the last decade, he has worked on sustainable development issues including resource recovery, reuse and recycling. He is the recipient of many national and international distinguished honors and awards; he has over 600 publications to his credit; and he serves on several technical, corporate and editorial boards. From 2008 to 2009, he served as president of TMS. Apelian is a Fellow of TMS, ASM and APMI, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Armenian Academy of Sciences.
Hosted by Faryar Jabbari, associate dean, academic affairs