Saturday, January 1, 2005

Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf Elected TMS Fellow 2005

The highest honor bestowed by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, the honorary class of Fellow was established in 1962; Charter Fellows were inducted in 1963. To be inducted, a candidate must be recognized as an eminent authority and contributor within the broad field of metallurgy, with a strong consideration of outstanding service to the Society. The maximum number of living Fellows cannot exceed 100.

The following is an excerpt from a nomination letter.

...she has earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues and is recognized as the top contributor to understanding plasticity. She has devoted her entire career to developing this understanding in terms of low energy dislocation structures and has succeeded in using these structures to provide a unified approach that explains the details of the stages of work hardening, texture development, fatigue, creep, wear and other details of plasticity. For decades, she has been internationally recognized for her contributions to the field of plasticity. She extended her understanding of dislocation theory to give a basis for melting of metallic crystals, explaining the melting temperature and the localized structure of the liquid state. She won an award for that work in 1965. Bill Nix’s letter recognizes the dilemma of why she has not become a fellow of TMS before now. Being in her 80’s and of female gender adds motivation to bestow this award at this time.

There is a second dimension to her contributions. She has applied her knowledge of plasticity to sliding contacts and contact-spot wear in electrical brushes. Her success in this area has led to numerous patents and the development of metal fiber brushes that posses the highest current carrying capacity of any commercially available electric brush. Such a technical development stands to revolutionize electric motors and their uses. This work has resulted is the establishment of her company, HiPerCon. The list of patents and patent applications attest to the impact of her contributions in this area. Her creativity is outstanding and it is no surprise that her work on electric brushes lead to her thinking about how motors could be improved. Indeed such thought has resulted in the patenting of a new design for electric motors that exceeds performance of even superconducting motors on a per pound basis. The brilliance she demonstrates extends to the class room, to her students, and colleagues. Her joining the fellowship of TMS does both honor.