Dr. Joseph Newkirk, associate professor of materials science and engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology, has been named a Fellow of the American Society for Metals (ASM) International, a leading association of metals-centric materials scientists and engineers with over 30,000 worldwide members.
Newkirk, who has been a member of the Missouri S&T faculty for 28 years, was recognized for his work in a wide variety of metals science applications. The award will be conferred on Oct. 6 at the Materials Science and Technology 2015 conference in Columbus, Ohio.
The title of ASM International Fellow honors those members who are notable for their distinguished contributions to materials science and engineering. ASM Fellows are technical and professional leaders who have been recognized by their colleagues and now serve as advisors to the society.
Some of Newkirk’s work is using 3-D printing to make hybrid metals out of normally incompatible materials, such as titanium and steel. This additive method produces little waste in making parts, unlike companies that use subtractive methods like turning parts on lathes to make their parts, Newkirk says.
The trick to the hybrid technique, Newkirk says, is finding the right ratio of metals that will allow them to work together to produce the desired result or part. Airline manufacturers are especially interested.
“The promise is great,” says Newkirk, who also works with Dr. Frank Liou, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Missouri S&T. “But production has to be exact before you put them on an aircraft with people on board. You have to be sure.”
Using 3-D printers is important not just for airline companies, but for organizations whose aim is higher — such as NASA.
“NASA needs to be able to make parts on Mars, on the moon, on an asteroid,” Newkirk says. “You can’t go to Mars with a warehouse full of parts.”
Newkirk has served as the ASM handbook chair, has been on the board of directors for Alpha Sigma Mu and is the faculty advisor for the Blacksmithing Club of Rolla.