After 36 years in the metals industry I am honored to be elected to the ASM International Board of Trustees. ASM is the Materials Information Society, home of the much-referenced Materials Handbooks and part-owner of Granta Design, famous for material property bubble charts. ASM conducts extensive training and the local chapters attract insightful speakers to meetings worldwide. Applied Process employees have benefitted from training, resource materials, technical networking and leadership opportunities offered by ASM and its chapters.
The ASM Board regularly reviews its strategic plans to align the organization for continued growth. To that end, for some time the Board has included student members to assure that the input of the next generation of leaders is considered in ASM’s strategic plan. So, it is with great interest that I attended my first strategic planning meeting in Cleveland this past week. During strategic brainstorming it was apparent that our student members hold social responsibility as a duty separate from their avocation in materials engineering. I was alarmed by the apparent disconnect. I can only assume that it is a result of our educational system teaching the children, from a very young age, that you can either do good, or do well.
Our experience is that doing good and doing well are NOT mutually exclusive. In fact, materials engineering offers the perfect opportunity for engineers to positively affect society and the environment. Materials engineers work with designers to choose the material/process combination that most efficiently accomplishes the task at hand. Developments in material science have reduced the mass of our means of transportation, increased the efficiency of our engines and motors, increased the durability of our metals, ceramics and polymers (and the recyclability of all of them), and improved the thermal efficiency of our buildings. This has led to lower costs for products, lower cost of operation, reduced energy consumption and environmental improvements……all societal advantages.
At Applied Process we are passionate people providing innovative Austempering solutions. 95% of our business comes from replacing one material/process combination with a better, faster, cheaper one. In each case we have reduced the mass, met or improved the strength or durability and reduced the cost of an application. In every case we have reduced the energy embodied in the component and provided a solution that is 100% recyclable. Those innovations are accomplished in clean, safe, good-neighbor facilities that use 15% less process energy than the industry average and employ 100% recycling of all quenchants, process water and consumable fixtures. Our employees take their technology, community and leadership experiences gained at Applied Process and use their energies in leadership roles with their families, communities, and places of worship. These are people doing good and doing well.
The engineering and manufacturing communities need to make clear to our future leaders that good engineering and good conscience are not mutually exclusive. In fact, material science, applied efficiently to human need, is a truly worthy cause. The people at Applied Process are proud to be part of that journey.