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Science and engineering society honors 3 at ASU

August 27, 2008

The leadership of ASM International, the premier materials science and engineering society, has honored three representatives from Arizona State University’s School of Materials.

Nikhilesh Chawla, a professor in the school, has been elected an ASM International Fellow. The award recognizes members for distinguished contributions to materials science and engineering. Urusa Alaan, a senior in materials science and engineering, has been elected to a one-year appointment in a student post on the ASM International Board of Trustees. Subhash Mahajan, director of the School of Materials, already is a member of the board.

Chawla is being recognizing for work in multiphase microstructures and mechanical behavior and modeling of advanced materials. He is the youngest person to be elected an ASM Fellow, since the inception of the award in 1969.

As a Fellow, he becomes part of a forum of technical and professional leaders who serve as advisors to the society.

Alaan is the first student to serve on the board with a faculty member from the same institution.

She is the president of Materials Advantage, a student-run organization that gives undergraduates access to four professional engineering societies in the materials field. She is working to define a clear mission for the ASU chapter of the group.

“One of our main goals is to establish traditions in the School of Materials," she says. "We want to strengthen our student community to encourage retention and to build bonds that last beyond our years at ASU.”

Alaan has worked with Mahajan on research since her freshmen year at ASU.

Mahajan has been appointed Alaan’s ASM International board mentor.

“He has been a mentor on so many levels, and it's an honor to serve on the board with him,” she says.

Chawla says being associated with ASM International throughout his student and professional life “has been very instructive and enjoyable. Election to the status of fellow of ASM is one of the highlights of my career. It is an honor to be included among such a distinguished group of individuals in the field of materials science and engineering.”

Chawla has written or co-written more than 100 materials science and engineering articles and serves on the editorial board of prominent professional publications, including Metallurgical and Materials Transactions, Advanced Engineering Materials, and Materials Characterization.

He won the 2004 Bradley Stoughton Award for Young Teachers presented by ASM International, and the 2006 Young Leaders Tutorial Lecture presented by The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society.

ASM International promotes progress in the materials field by organizing conferences around the world, as well as supporting educational, career-guidance and networking services and activities for scientists and engineers.

The School of Materials is jointly administered by ASU’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact the media relations officer at the school of engineering at

Natasha Karaczan,
Media Relations
Tempe campus