Remembering Professor Emeritus William F. Hosford

Remembering Professor Emeritus William F. Hosford

Professor Emeritus William F. Hosford

MSE was saddened to learn of the passing of Professor Emeritus William F. Hosford on December 28.

"We have lost a truly unique individual," said Professor Emeritus Wayne Jones. "His devotion to educating generations of students through his excellent teaching and his textbooks and monographs will be long remembered by his colleagues and students."

“I admired Bill, both professionally and personally,” added Professor John Allison, who this past spring became the William F. Hosford Collegiate Professor of Materials Science & Engineering. “As a metallurgist, his contributions to both the science and engineering of metals and alloys were recognized around the world. Whether in the classroom or at the annual MSE picnic at the Hosfords’ home on Traver Road, his devotion to the department and, in particular, to our students, made him a great role model for us all. It is a great honor for me to carry on his legacy through the professorship.”

A native of Maplewood, N.J., Professor Hosford received his B.S. from Lehigh University in 1950, his M.E. from Yale University in 1951, and his Sc.D. from MIT in 1959. He was a trainee at the General Electric Company from 1951-53, and he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Signal Corps from 1953-55. Professor Hosford joined the faculty at MIT as an instructor in 1957 and was promoted to assistant professor in 1959. He came to the University of Michigan as an associate professor in 1963 and was promoted to professor in 1968. He became professor emeritus in 2004.

An inspiring teacher and researcher, Professor Hosford was recognized as an expert in the areas of mechanical properties and metal forming and had an outstanding record of service to U-M. His research interests included the quantitative relationship between anisotropic yielding behavior and crystallographic texture, forming sheet metal and the dependence of sheet formability on plastic anisotropy, theory and experimentation of forming limit diagrams, forming deformation textures in bcc metals, and spheroidization of medium carbon steels. 

Professor Hosford published over 75 technical articles and two textbooks during his career. He was elected as a fellow of ASM International in 1988, and was a senior member of the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society. In 1998, Professor Hosford received the Albert Easton White Distinguished Teacher Award for his long and devoted service to teaching and to the field of materials science and engineering.

"Bill was one of the first people I met in 1978 when I came to U-M as an assistant professor," commented Jones, who added that in addition to being colleagues, he and Hosford were also neighbors at one point. "From 1979-84 our family lived across the road from Bill and Peg Hosford. They both were wonderful neighbors who many times lent a helping hand and their friendship, and often a place at their table to our young family."  

In his personal time, Hosford enjoyed canoeing in the Canadian wilderness where travel by water was the only means of transportation. He combined his love of wilderness with a love of painting and was recognized as a wonderful watercolorist who documented his life, family and travels with many paintings.  

"We are all better for having known Bill," remarked Jones. "As one colleague said to me on learning of his passing, 'He was a true gem.'  His talents, his sense of humor, and his energy and enthusiasm for life will be sorely missed by us all."

A memorial service is being planned by the Hosford Family for Sunday, March 17. If you would like more details, please contact Kristen Freshley at .

 Click here to read student and faculty memories of Prof. Hosford. To leave your own remembrance, click here. All comments will be compiled and shared with the Hosford Family.