Final Program

Summit Dates: July 29-31, 2014


The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society

American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers

Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences

National Academy of Engineering

Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration

Society of Women Engineers






TimkenSteel Corporation

American Association of Engineering Societies

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Association for Iron & Steel Technology

Association for Women in Science

The American Ceramic Society

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Foundation

University Materials Council

Registration & Housing/Travel
The First TMS Summit on Creating and Sustaining Diversity in the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Professions (DMMM1): Honoring the First Female Member of AIME: Ellen Swallow Richards
July 29–31, 2014 * National Academy of Sciences Building (2101 Constitution Ave, NW)* Washington, DC
About the Honoree and Inaugural Award Winner

Summit Honoree

Ellen Swallow Richards (1842-1911) was the first female student to attend MIT, earning a degree in chemistry in 1873. She was also an accomplished professional who took an active role outside of the laboratory and was elected the first female member of the American Institute of Mining Engineers (today’s American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers). She is also recognized as the founder of the field of ecology. Beyond her pioneering achievements, she remained dedicated to public service and was known as a fervent advocate for women’s education and professional opportunities.

The "Swallow Experiment" (excerpt from JOM: the magazine article "Ellen Swallow Richards: The Most Influential Scientist You Probably Never Heard Of (Until Now)", January 2014).

Inaugural Ellen Swallow Richards Diversity Award Winner

Viola L. Acoff, professor and head of the Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department at the University of Alabama (UA), has been named the inaugural recipient of the 2014 Ellen Swallow Richards Diversity Award. This new TMS award recognizes an individual who reflects the remarkable pioneering spirit of Richards in overcoming personal, professional, educational, cultural, or institutional adversity to pursue a career in minerals, metals, and/or materials, or in helping others to overcome these challenges to pursue such a career.

Acoff was raised in a family of 10 children. Although her parents were of modest means, they encouraged all their children to become formally educated. Acoff went on to earn her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in materials engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and began working at UA in 1994, despite losing an important mentor - her mother - early in her career.

While moving up the ranks at UA from assistant professor of metallurgical and materials engineering, to associate professor and then professor, she has made it her personal mission to increase the number of science and engineering degrees awarded to students from underrepresented minority groups.

Since 1996, Acoff has served as the director for the UA Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation Program (LSAMP) supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). It has directly affected 81 students to date. She also spearheaded another NSF-funded program, "Introducing Science Faculty from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s) to Materials Science and Engineering." This extensive outreach to 82 of the nation’s 99 Historically Black Colleges and Universities has involved nearly 300 faculty members over its 12 years.

Acoff will be presented with the Ellen Swallow Richards Diversity Award during the Summit. Presentation of this award is supported by a gift to The TMS Foundation from Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Wadsworth.

To register for DMMM1, visit the registration and housing/travel page.

Read more about Acoff in the press release announcing her as the award recipient.