Obituary: Alan Lawley, distinguished PM industry professor

October 24, 2017

Obituary: Alan Lawley, distinguished PM industry professorAlan Lawley, Emeritus Professor, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA, passed away on October 17, 2017, at the age of 84. As a long-time friend and supporter of the Powder Metallurgy industry, Lawley made significant contributions to research and development in PM and particulate materials, and guided the professional development of undergraduate and postgraduate students, many of whom work in the industry today.

Lawley received BSc, Physical Metallurgy and PhD, Metallurgy degrees from the University of Birmingham, UK, after which he went on to work at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Metallurgical Engineering as Post-Doctoral Fellow and at the Franklin Institute’s Solid State Research Laboratory. He joined Drexel University in 1968, where he initiated a PM programme, and over the years his PM teachings, research and consulting activities impacted the academic world, industry and national laboratories, as well as federal government and state agencies.

While at Drexel, he was appointed Department Head/Materials Engineering and made A.W. Grosvenor Professor of Metallurgy. Hoeganaes Corporation, Cinnaminson, New Jersey, USA, endowed a professorship in PM at Drexel where two dedicated PM laboratories were established. Lawley published over 300 articles in archival journals, conference proceedings, and books — more than 200 of which embrace PM and particulate materials.

Lawley was named Editor-in-Chief of APMI International’s International Journal of Powder Metallurgy in 1985 and served in this capacity until 2015. He was co-chairman of the 1993 International Conference on Powder Metallurgy & Particulate Materials (Nashville, USA), co-chaired the MPIF/APMI PM2008 World Congress (Washington, D.C, USA) and was a long-time member of the MPIF’s Technical Board. A recipient of numerous professional and societal awards, Lawley was among the first class of Fellows of APMI International (1998). Additionally, he served on APMI’s Panel of Fellows, Awards Committee, and Publications Committee. He received the MPIF Distinguished Service Award in 1991.

A video created by the MPIF pays tribute to Alan Lawley, whose distinguished career in the Powder Metallurgy industry was recognised in 2012 when he received MPIF’s Kempton H. Roll PM Lifetime Achievement Award.

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