Carl Koch, Kobe Steel Distinguished Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. Koch is one of 69 new members and 11 foreign associates joining the academy this year. He is the 11th current NC State faculty member to be elected to NAE, a private, independent nonprofit organization that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. Election is considered one of the top professional distinctions in the field of engineering.
The new class of members, announced by the academy today, means NAE now has 2,250 members and 211 foreign associates. Academy membership is extended to those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education, including significant contributions to literature in the field.
Koch, whose engineering career spans more than 50 years, is well-known for his achievements in research on amorphous and nanostructured materials. In 1983, he became the first researcher to create an amorphous metallic structure — which differs from a normal metal because of its disordered atomic makeup — from two separate elements through a process known as mechanical alloying.
His recent research has turned to creating nanocrystalline materials that have special mechanical and magnetic properties. In 2008, his research group produced an iron composed of tiny crystals that is far stronger than traditional iron. The new substance has a wide variety of potential applications, such as engine components that are exposed to high stress and temperatures.
Koch is a fellow of numerous professional societies, including the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, which limits membership to 100 living fellows. At NC State he has been recognized with the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence, the university’s top faculty honor; the NC State Alumni Association Outstanding Research Award and the R.J. Reynolds Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Extension.
Koch received his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in metallurgy from the Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University) in 1959, 1961, and 1964, respectively. He was a research group leader with the Metals and Ceramics Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory before joining the NC State faculty in 1983.