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Diran Apelian is the Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Engineering and founding director of the Metal Processing Institute (MPI) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). He joined WPI in July 1990 as provost and in 1996 returned to his interests as a faculty member.
Dr. Apelian has contributed to the shaping of engineering education through project-based learning, enhancements to the first-year experience, and the development of industrial internship programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. He is credited with pioneering work in various areas of solidification processing and powder metallurgy—specifically, molten metal processing, aluminum alloy development, plasma deposition, spray casting/forming, and semisolid processing of metals. During the past decade he has worked on sustainable development issues, and particularly, resource recovery, reuse, and recycling.
Dr. Apelian has received many honors and awards, national and international; he has over 600 publications to his credit; and serves on several technical, corporate, and editorial boards. During 2008/2009, he served as President of TMS. He is a fellow of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS, which he also served as president, 2008–2009), ASM International, and APMI International, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and Armenian Academy of Sciences.
He worked at Bethlehem Steel’s Homer Research Laboratories before joining Drexel University’s faculty in 1976. At Drexel he held various positions, including professor, head of the Department of Materials Engineering, associate dean of the College of Engineering, and vice provost of the university.
He received his BS degree in metallurgical engineering from Drexel University in 1968 and his doctorate in materials science and engineering from MIT in 1972.