Iowa State Materials Science and Engineering Chair to Assume National Leadership Post

AMES, Iowa -- Mufit Akinc, professor and chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University, has been elected vice chair/chair elect of the University Materials Council (UMC), the official organization of department chairs, heads and directors of materials science and engineering programs in the United States and Canada.

Akinc joined the Iowa State faculty in 1981 and was named chair in 1995. A specialist in processing structural and functional materials, with a primary emphasis on materials used in energy generation, storage and transformation, Akinc focuses his research on the synthesis, processing and characterization of novel materials for high-temperature structural applications.

Akinc received his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry from the Middle East Technical University (METU) in his native Turkey in 1970 and 1973, respectively. He earned his Ph.D. in ceramic engineering from Iowa State University in 1977. He previously taught at Kansas State University and at METU, where he retains an appointment as an adjunct professor. He also served as materials science curriculum chair for the National Technological University from 1998 to 2003.

The UMC conducts surveys that benchmark enrollments, degrees awarded, faculty salaries, research funding and graduate student stipends. It also serves as a forum to share best practices in areas such as student recruitment, academic accreditation, emerging research and patent rights policies in the field of materials science.