Professor recognized for contributions in zirconium metallurgy

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Arthur Motta, professor and chair of nuclear engineering in the Penn State Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, and professor of materials science and engineering, was awarded the 2014 William J. Kroll Zirconium Medal from the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) International.

Established in 1975, the William J. Kroll Zirconium Medal is an annual international award that recognizes outstanding achievement in the scientific, technological or commercial aspects of zirconium production and utilization and encourages future efforts, studies and research. The award represents the highest recognition that ASTM gives in this field. The first awardee, Admiral Rickover, was the father of the U.S. Nuclear Navy. 

Motta will receive the award at the 18th International Symposium on Zirconium in the Nuclear Industry in Hilton Head, South Carolina, May 15-19.

“It is a great honor to receive this award, as this is the community that best knows my work,” said Motta. “There is no higher distinction to a scientist than the recognition of his peers.”

Motta has been recognized by many organizations for his outstanding achievements in research and teaching. He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), and in 2015 he received the Mishima Award from ANS. Other honors include the ANS Materials Science and Technology Division's Outstanding Achievement Award, the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society's Outstanding Research and Outstanding Advising Awards, and the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering's Outstanding Faculty Award.

Motta's research program focuses on understanding the mechanisms of materials degradation when exposed to the nuclear reactor environment, including radiation damage, microstructural evolution, corrosion and hydriding. This understanding allows a better prediction of materials behavior and the development of superior materials that can last longer under more severe conditions in the reactor environment.

Motta received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and his master’s degree in nuclear engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He received his doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He worked in France and Canada before joining Penn State in 1992.

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Last Updated May 09, 2016