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

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

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

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