4th International Conference on Advances in Solidification Processes
8-11th July 2014, Beaumont Estates, Old Windsor, UK

Prof Wilfried Kurz - EPFL, Switzerland

Wilfried Kurz
Wilfried Kurz is Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL). He holds an Engineering Diploma and a Ph.D. in metallurgy both from the University of Leoben, Austria. In 1964 he joined the staff of the Geneva Research Laboratories of Battelle Memorial Institute which he left as head of the physical metallurgy group to take up the position at EPFL (1971), Director of the Laboratory of Physical Metallurgy (1974) and of the Laser Materials Processing Centre (1985). His research is oriented to theoretical and experimental studies of microstructure development during solidification processing and solid-state transformation of materials. He was co-founder of the first Swiss curriculum in Materials Science and Engineering (1974), and twice Head of Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Under others, he was member of the Board of the Swiss National Science Foundation, of the German Society for Materials (DGM), President of the Swiss Association for Materials Science and Technology, Chairman of European Research Program COST, and President of FEMS, the Federation of European Materials Societies. He is Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He has published 4 books, 220 scientific papers and 10 patents and is Highly Cited Researcher of the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI-Thomson Reuters). International Awards: Hans Malzacher Award from ASMET (Austria), Bruce Chalmers Award from TMS (USA), Albert Sauveur Achievement Award from ASM (USA), Médaille Bastien Guillet of SF2M (France), Heyn-Denkmünze of DGM (Germany), Luigi Losana Medal of AIM (Italy), National Friendship Award (People’s Republic of China), European Materials Gold Medal of FEMS, and Honorary Member of the Iron and Steel Institute of Japan.


Paths to Solidification Science

W. Kurz

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland

This conference takes place 6 decades after the important paper by Tiller, Jackson, Rutter and Chalmers, which was published in the first volume of Acta Metallurgica on constitutional supercooling. It was a turning point in solidification research. Most researchers in the field know about the important papers after this date. What is less known is the evolution of the concepts during the 250 years before constitutional supercooling. Many of the fundamental concepts have been developed in this early period and they will form the core of the presentation along the following lines:

Evolution of general methods

  1. Equipment: from Janssen’s optical microscope 1594 to Ruska’s and Brüche’s electron microscope 1931; from Ferdinando II de Medici’s thermometer 1654 to Bridgman’s directional solidification apparatus 1924.
  2. Transparent materials: from Fahrenheit’s undercooled water 1724 to Jackson-Hunt’s plastic crystals 1965.
  3. General Theory: from Black’s latent heat 1760 to Stefan’s moving boundary solutions 1889.

Evolution of solidification microstructure models

  1. Morphological instability: from Wilson 1898 to Mullins-Sekerka 1964.
  2. Dendrite tip growth: from Zannichelli 1713 to Hillert 1957.
  3. Eutectic coupled zone: from Tammann-Botschwar 1926 to Jackson 1968.

These are some selected examples of early work, which influenced the research during the years to follow.