Misra recognized as Edward DeMille Campbell Professor of Materials Science & Engineering

Delayed almost two years because of the pandemic, the in-person recognition ceremony was finally held on January 14, 2022.
Misra recognized as Edward DeMille Campbell Professor of Materials Science & Engineering

Amit Misra with Dean Alec Gallimore (back left) and wife Monica Misra.

On January 14, MSE chair Amit Misra was officially inducted as the Edward DeMille Campbell Collegiate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering in a special ceremony/lecture in the Lurie Building. Misra was awarded the honor in March 2020, but the pandemic delayed the in-person ceremony until Friday.

“Endowed professorships are among the highest honors presented by the College of Engineering,” said Dean Alec Gallimore in his opening remarks. “They help attract, reward and retain outstanding faculty members. They acknowledge faculty members’ research, teaching and service.”

Mohsen Taheri Andani, former Ph.D. student and current postdoc in the Misra lab spoke about what it was like to advised by Misra. “He mentors his students in a way that a parent teaches their kid how to walk: very patient and step by step,” Andani said.

Professor John Allison followed, reading remarks from two other former students: Ben Derby (PhD ’20), now at Los Alamos National Lab (where Misra worked before coming to U-M), and Max Powers (PhD ’21), currently a materials engineer with Apple.  “I am just so lucky to have had a chance to work with Amit Misra and be a part of the impact he will have on the world,” remarked Derby. Added Powers: “There are numerous reasons why I believe Professor Misra is wholly deserving of this award: he is a great mentor, he invests heavily into every student, he is a phenomenal instructor, and he has a sincere appreciation for cutting edge materials science research the likes of which I have not seen elsewhere.”

Misra then presented a high-level lecture titled “Laser Processed Hierarchical Metallic Alloys” highlighting examples of hierarchical composite morphologies induced by laser rapid solidification that improve the strength and plastic deformability.

“Exciting developments are happening in the field of structural materials,” Misra said. “We’re seeing an increase in interest in the fundamental scientific aspects of studying metallic alloys with complex chemistries and defect structures. There are new alloys and a demand for better and more predictable performances in energy-efficient and sustainable technologies of the future. We’re seeing advances and improvements in the making, modeling, and measuring of metallic materials. We have the entire materials research community interested because there’s something new for everyone.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Dean Gallimore presented Misra with a personally engraved medal (which he is to wear at all official university events, such as graduation), and unveiled his professorship chair before inviting him to take an official first seat.

“It is a real honor to be named after Edward DeMille Campbell,” Misra stated, noting that Campbell was not only the first U-M faculty ever to hold the title of Assistant Professor of Metallurgy, but he also embodied extraordinary dedication to the field. A mere ten days after a lab accident blinded him, Campbell was back teaching and conducting research; he would eventually go on to publish 77 papers. “That’s the same dedication and spirit you see in some U-M faculty today,” Misra said.

“I’m pleased that Amit selected Edward DeMille Campbell as his named professorship,” commented Allison. “Not only is Professor Campbell a very famous metallurgist and an early faculty member from 1890, but his contributions remind us and the world the strong part that metals have played in our legacy and in our current and future programming. The world knows Professor Campbell, but they don’t necessarily know he’s from Michigan. Now they will be reminded every time Amit is introduced.”