Physics Pro­fessor at North­eastern Receives Bruce Chalmers Award from Min­erals, Metals & Mate­rials Society


Awarded to indi­vidual with excep­tional con­tri­bu­tions to solid­i­fi­ca­tion science


March 10, 2008 – Alain Karma, Ph.D., Pro­fessor of Physics and Col­lege of Arts & Sci­ences Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, has been selected to receive the Bruce Chalmers Award. Pre­sented by the Min­erals, Metals & Mate­rials Society (TMS), this award rec­og­nizes Pro­fessor Karma “for his many out­standing and inno­v­a­tive con­tri­bu­tions to the sci­ence and tech­nology of solid­i­fi­ca­tion and for pro­viding excep­tional insights into the fun­da­men­tals of microstruc­ture evo­lu­tion.” Karma, a res­i­dent of Bel­mont, MA, was nom­i­nated and rec­og­nized by his peers and will receive the award during the TMS annual meeting and exhi­bi­tion in New Orleans on March 11, 2008.

Solid­i­fi­ca­tion is the trans­for­ma­tion of matter from liquid to solid, as exem­pli­fied in the everyday expe­ri­ence of making ice cubes. Most man made objects, from auto­mo­tive and air­craft parts to elec­tronic, dental, and med­ical prod­ucts, use this process during some stage of manufacturing.

During the past two decades at North­eastern, Karma and his group have devel­oped math­e­mat­ical and com­puter models that have yielded fun­da­mental insights into the for­ma­tion of com­plex solid­i­fi­ca­tion microstruc­tures by bridging non­equi­lib­rium phe­nomena on nanometer to micron scales. A major prac­tical goal of this research is to develop the­o­ret­ical tools that can help design and pro­duce more energy effi­cient struc­tural mate­rials with supe­rior phys­ical prop­er­ties such as reduced weight, increased ten­sile strength, and better heat and cor­ro­sion resistance.

I am truly hon­ored to have been rec­og­nized by my peers as the 2008 Bruce Chalmers Award recip­ient,” said Karma. “As the world of phys­ical sci­ence research con­tinues to evolve, I hope that my con­tri­bu­tions will pro­vide a solid foun­da­tion from which to expand upon, leading to inno­va­tions that will have a pos­i­tive impact on the global community.”

Karma is also working to foster inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research at North­eastern as director of the Center for Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Research on Com­plex Sys­tems. “It is cru­cial that researchers from dif­ferent dis­ci­plines work together to address global issues, such as the energy crisis, because the answers will not be con­tained in one area, and coping with the com­plexity of human dis­eases requires new approaches at the inter­sec­tion of the phys­ical and bio­log­ical sci­ences,” said Karma.

Northeastern’s team of researchers con­tinues to make advances in their respec­tive fields, as is demon­strated by Pro­fessor Karma’s award,” said Srinivas Sridhar, Ph.D, Vice Provost for Research and Physics Depart­ment Chair at North­eastern. “Pro­fessor Karma’s impor­tant work is pro­viding fun­da­mental infor­ma­tion about the sci­ence and tech­nology involved in the solid­i­fi­ca­tion process, which will lead to improve­ments in the mate­rial pro­duc­tion process,” said Sridhar.

The Bruce Chalmers Award was estab­lished in 1989 by the Mate­rials Pro­cessing & Man­u­fac­turing Divi­sion of TMS to rec­og­nize out­standing work by indi­vid­uals in the solid­i­fi­ca­tion sci­ence field.

For more infor­ma­tion about Pro­fessor Karma’s research, please con­tact Jenny Eriksen at (617) 373‑2802 or j.​eriksen@​neu.​edu.

About TMS


TMS is the pro­fes­sional orga­ni­za­tion encom­passing the entire range of mate­rials sci­ence and engi­neering, from min­erals pro­cessing and pri­mary metals pro­duc­tion to basic research and the advanced appli­ca­tions of mate­rials. Included among its pro­fes­sional and stu­dent mem­bers are met­al­lur­gical and mate­rials engi­neers, sci­en­tists, researchers, edu­ca­tors and admin­is­tra­tors from more than 70 coun­tries on six continents.

About North­eastern


Founded in 1898, North­eastern Uni­ver­sity is a pri­vate research uni­ver­sity located in the heart of Boston. North­eastern is a leader in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, urban engage­ment, and the inte­gra­tion of class­room learning with real-​​world expe­ri­ence. The university’s dis­tinc­tive coop­er­a­tive edu­ca­tion pro­gram, where stu­dents alter­nate semes­ters of full-​​time study with semes­ters of paid work in fields rel­e­vant to their pro­fes­sional inter­ests and major, is one of the largest and most inno­v­a­tive in the world. The Uni­ver­sity offers a com­pre­hen­sive range of under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams leading to degrees through the doc­torate in six under­grad­uate col­leges, eight grad­uate schools, and two part-​​time divi­sions. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit