Diran Apelian featured as second Robert D. Pehlke Lecturer

Using Bob Pehlke as an example, Apelian emphasized the importance of building relationships.
Diran Apelian featured as second Robert D. Pehlke Lecturer

MSE was pleased to have Diran Apelian headline the 2019 Robert D. Pehlke Lectureship in Materials Processing on September 13. Apelian is a Distinguished Professor at UC-Irvine, Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Engineering, and Founding Director of the Metal Processing Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Mass.

At the lectureship dinner the evening before, Apelian praised MSE Professor Emeritus Bob Pehlke, who was in hospice at the time and who sadly passed away a month after the lectureship, on Oct. 22.

“This isn’t about me, this is really about Bob Pehlke’s legacy,” said Apelian, who first became acquainted with Pehlke while as a young professor teaching extracted energy from one of Pehlke’s textbooks. “Bob was responsible, committed, dedicated – a supreme professional.”

Apelian then segued to a message for graduate students using Pehlke as the ultimate example: “Always keep in mind,” Apelian began, “accomplishments are great, but it’s the relationships that you have with people - your colleagues, your peers, the president of the university– that really matters. It’s been said that you make a living by ‘what you get,’ but you really make a life by what you give. And Bob gave a lot to this department and to the community.That’s the legacy we’re celebrating and I hope I will be able to add my contribution to that by the lecture tomorrow.”

Apelian did not disappoint. 

In his lecture "Aluminum Alloy Design Strategies for Enhanced Performance," Apelian discussed how the demand for lightweighting of our infrastructure and transportation equipment has seen a significant growth the last two decades, and how this need is expected to increase as the reduction of carbon footprints and energy consumption will be major drivers in the decades ahead. He argued that aluminum has played a pivotal role in this lightweighting movement and will continue to do so, as will the need for high performance Al alloys such as enhanced modulus, usage at elevated temperatures, and damage resistant alloys, etc.