Viola Acoff
Professor and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, University of Alabama

Mid-Career Panelist
Viola L. Acoff received her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in materials engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She began working at The University of Alabama (UA), located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1994 as an assistant professor of metallurgical and materials engineering, and was promoted to the rank of professor in 2004. In 2008, Acoff was appointed as head of the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering. In 2009, she was also appointed as head of the Department of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering and for an entire year, she served as the department head for two different departments at the same time. In October 2014, Acoff was appointed Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs in the College of Engineering. For her outstanding achievements in leadership at UA, Acoff received the T. Morris Hackney Endowed Faculty Leadership Award and was named a Fellow of the Southeastern Conference Academic Leadership Development Program. She also received the UA Alumni Association Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award for 2014. Also in 2014, Acoff was the inaugural recipient of the Ellen Swallow Richards Diversity Award given by TMS, presented at the First TMS Summit on Creating and Sustaining Diversity in the Minerals, Metals and Materials Professions (DMMM1). Acoff has been awarded more than $7 million in externally-funded grants related to welding research, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. She has published over 80 peer reviewed papers, co-authored 3 books, co-edited 3 books, and given over 100 invited and contributed talks on her research. She has also given a presentation on her research on every continent except for Antarctica.