Gerhard Leichtfried, professor of materials science at Austria’s University of Innsbruck since 2015, received the 2021 H.R. “Russ” Ogden Award from ASTM International. This annual award, presented by ASTM’s reactive and refractory metals and alloys committee (B10), honors outstanding accomplishments in the science and technology of reactive and refractory metals and alloys.
Leichtfried’s career has touched both academia and industry, focusing mainly on refractory metals, powder metallurgy, and additive manufacturing. He studied at Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria, becoming a graduate engineer in materials science in 1984. He subsequently received a doctorate in mining science in 1997, and a habilitation degree in powder metallurgy in 2004.
Prior to becoming a full-time professor, Leichtfried held various management positions held various management positions at the Plansee Group in Reutte, Austria for 31 years. This activity also resulted in a large number of patents and publications, for example, on molybdenum and tungsten doped with rare earth oxide. Products made from these materials have quickly achieved market penetration in many applications. His university research group focuses on additive manufacturing, particularly laser powder bed fusion, and has succeeded in processing materials, such as molybdenum, that were considered unprocessable with this technology. This work has also been documented in numerous publications and patent applications.
Leichtfried has been a prolific academic contributor to his field, serving as a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Refractory Metals and hard materials, as well as a guest editor for several other materials journals. He has also been a member of scientific and managing committees for various conferences, and a member of the advisory board for Max Planck Innovation GmbH.
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