9 September 2019

DTU professor in materials research wins dual internation-al recognition

Professor Marcel A.J. Somers has been awarded the dual honour of both receiving a rarely bestowed medal and giving a commemorative lecture at the 26th Congress of Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering.

Several years may pass between each awarding of the medal by the IFHTSE—The International Federation for Heat Treatment and Surface Engineering, a global association of heat and surface treatment organizations—to particularly prominent researchers within the field of heat and surface treatment of metals. Since 2004, the medal has only been awarded a total of seven times. This great and very special honour has now befallen Marcel Somers, Professor at DTU Mechanical Engineering.

But this is not the only mark of distinction he has received. Marcel Somers will also be giving a so-called Lakhtin lecture which is a lecture in honour of Yurii Mikhailovich Lakhtin, a prominent Russian researcher in thermochemical surface treatment.  The lectures have been given since 1998, and Marcel Somers is only the fifth researcher to have been given this honour.

It is Marcel Somers’ unique contribution to the understanding and application of metal-gas reactions in thermochemical processes, as well as hardening through cryogenic treatments, that has led to the awarding of the medal and the honour of giving a Lakhtin lecture. Best known is probably his metallurgical scientific work with gas-based surface treatment of stainless steel, which his research group was one of the first to reveal the true nature of, and which laid the foundations for taking out a number of patents and forming the company Expanite. Basic research combined with applicable innovative material solutions is characteristic of his research group’s work. This characteristic is also reflected in the title of his Lakhtin lecture, ‘Thermochemical surface engineering of stainless steels with interstitials; Symbiosis of science, technology and innovation’, which he will give on 17 September in Moscow.

The two distinctions have put Marcel Somers in good company with the world’s undisputed leading researchers in the field, such as Sir Harry Bhadeshia, George Krauss, Tadashi Maki, Eric Mittemeijer, and Tom Bell—all examples of individuals who have previously been awarded the IFHTSE Medal and/or given one of the rare Lakhtin lectures.