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Recipient: 2001 Educator Award

The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society's Educator Award was established in 1985 to recognize outstanding contributions to education in metallurgical engineering and/or materials science and engineering. The award is not limited to the classroom but also includes recognition of innovative ways of educating the general populace.
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Lawrence H. Van Vlack, posthumously

Citation: "For outstanding accomplishments as an engineering educator and administrator, author of seminal introductory materials textbooks, and major contributor to the understanding of non-metallic inclusions in steels."

Biography: It is with great honor that TMS presents this award posthumously to Lawrence Van Vlack for his outstanding contributions as an educator. His daughter, Laura R. Van Vlack-Ailes accepted the award.

Lawrence Van Vlack held positions as department chair and professor emeritus at the University of Michigan from 1953–1999.

Dr. Van Vlack earned a B.S. in ceramic engineering at Iowa State University in 1942 and a Ph.D. in geology-mineralogy at the University of Chicago in 1950. He started his career in the steel industry working at various locations for U.S. Steel Corporation. He was a visiting professor at Zhejian University (1984), Monash University (1973), Indian Institute of Technology (1969), University of Melbourne (1967), and University of California (1961).

Dr. Van Vlack was a fellow of the American Ceramic Society, ASM International, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Society for Engineering Education. Over the course of his career, he received the following honors and awards: ASM International Gold Medal, A.E. White Distinguished Teaching Award, Sauveur Lecturer, University of Michigan College of Engineering Distinguished Faculty Award, Iowa State University PACE Award, New York Library “100 Book list”, Phi Lambda Upsilon Teaching Award, Tau Beta Pi Outstanding Professor of the Year, American Foundrymen’s Society Silver Anniversary Award, and Tau Beta Pi R.C. Porter Award. Dr. Van Vlack was chairman of various educational and advisory committees, including the TMS Education Committee. He authored 12 books, over 100 technical papers, and presented 5 keynote talks.

Quote: “The aspect of this award that would have pleased my father the most is the recognition as educator. Although Dad took great satisfaction in the part he played establishing the discipline of materials engineering, he considered teaching as his most important role.” Laura R. Van Vlack-Ailes, Daughter

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