The Office of the Vice President for Research recognizes Alan Druschitz, an associate professor of materials science and engineering in the College of Engineering, for his work in the fields of metal casting and advances in materials and production engineering.
His research interests include metal casting processes, ferrous and nonferrous alloy development, ballistic/armor materials, heat treating, welding, materials and component testing, nondestructive testing, failure analysis, and corrosion and residual stresses.
He is the director of the Virginia Tech Foundry Institute for Research and Education (VTFIRE) at the Kroehling Advanced Materials Foundry, which teaches engineering and art students to design, create, and cast metal objects in a world-class facility using state-of-the-art equipment and best-practice scientific and safety procedures. More than 20 firms, seven departments from two colleges of the university and several chapters of the American Foundry Society, Schaumburg, Ill., contributed to the launch of the Blacksburg location in 2011.
In addition to Virginia Tech students, the foundry frequently hosts diverse groups ranging from high school students to members of the Air Force Research Lab Manufacturing Technology Division.
A frequent journal contributor, Druschitz received Best Paper honors from the American Foundry Association two years running (2011 and 2012).
He previously directed the foundry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was director of materials research and development for Internet Corp., and was a research engineer with General Motors Research Laboratories. Druschitz received his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in metallurgical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.