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Robert E. Schafrik recently retired as general manager of the Materials and Process Engineering Department at GE Aviation (formerly GE Aircraft Engines) in Cincinnati, a position he held since 1999. During his tenure he and his team reduced the development time for several new materials, including low rhenium turbine blade alloy, R65 (a high-temperature cast-and-wrought disk alloy), and titanium aluminide turbine blade alloy, and greatly expanded the use of composite applications in engines. He was hired in 1997 as a senior staff department engineer.
Before that (1991–1997) he staffed the National Research Council’s National Materials Advisory Board (NMAB) and Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design (BMAED), following his service as vice president of research and development at Technology Assessment and Transfer, Inc., in Annapolis (1988–1991).
Dr. Schafrik spent 20 years on active duty as a military officer in the US Air Force before retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1988. He served as chief of the Long-Term Planning Division with the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) at the Pentagon and, before that, as chief of the Air Superiority Division for the Headquarters Air Force Systems Command (AFSC) at Andrews Air Force Base.
He chairs the NRC National Materials and Manufacturing Board as well as the External Advisory Committee for the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Ohio State University, and is a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.
He was elected to the NAE in 2013 for more than 40 years of innovation in materials for gas turbine engines.
Dr. Schafrik earned his BS in metallurgy from Case Western Reserve University, an MS in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a second MS in information systems from George Mason University, and a PhD in metallurgical engineering from Ohio State University.