JOM Examines Diversity in Materials Science and Engineering

Article ID: 604764

Released: 25-Jun-2013 4:00 PM EDT

Source Newsroom: TMS (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society)

Newswise — June 25, 2013 – Warrendale, PA (USA) "United in Our Differences: Changing the Face of MSE," is an extensive feature package in the July 2013 issue of JOM that tells the story of progress made and challenges to a more inclusive professional culture in the voices of nearly 30 female materials scientists and engineers. JOM is the monthly member journal of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society.

The main article of the package offers interviews with authors of recent studies on diversity trends in materials science and engineering (MSE), as well as insights on how MSE, because of its unique cultural characteristics, can potentially evolve as a model of inclusion among engineering disciplines. The focal point of the work, however, is a compendium of individual profiles of inspiring female MSE professionals from across the globe, and representing every stage of professional development. They include:

  • Shadia Ikhmayies, Assistant Professor, Al-Isra University, Jordan, raised as a child in a Palestinian refugee camp, on overcoming cultural barriers to her MSE career.
  • Julia Weertman, Walter P. Murphy Professor Emerita, USA, on how perceptions of female scientists have evolved since she started her career more than 60 years ago.
  • Melis Şerefoğlu, Research Assistant Professor, Koç University, Turkey, on how her passion for competitive rowing informed her drive to excel in MSE.
  • Catherine Rae, Reader in Physical Metallurgy, Cambridge University, UK, on addressing the challenges of returning to the workforce in the middle of an economic downturn.
  • Virginia S.T. Ciminelli, Director, National Institute of Science and Technology on Mineral Resources, Water, and Biodiversity, Brazil, on factors that female MSE professionals need to take into account beyond education and experience, in order to succeed.
  • Elizabeth Holm, Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, USA and 2013 TMS president, on how role models have impacted her career from the age of seven.

A roundtable discussion on the evolution of the industrial workplace culture, as well as an opinion piece by Ainissa G. Ramirez, author, speaker, and science education advocate, complete the "United in Our Differences" section. "By collecting perspectives such as those presented in this issue of JOM and as reflected by the leadership provided by the TMS Women in Materials Science and Engineering Committee, TMS is endeavoring to provide pathways to integrate the diverse set of ideas, talents, and peoples found in our broad spectrum materials community and promote inclusion within the overall STEM community," said James J. Robinson, publisher of JOM and executive director of TMS.

To build on the interest and dialogue that has been generated in developing "United in Our Differences," TMS has announced that it will organize the First TMS Summit on Creating and Sustaining Diversity in the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Professions on July 29–31, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The summit is dedicated to the work and legacy of Ellen Swallow Richards, who bridged tremendous cultural divides to become the first woman admitted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later accepted as the first female member of AIME (American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers).

The July issue of JOM is available on-line through Springerlink. All articles pertaining to the diversity topic are provided as open access.

About JOMJOM (ISSN 1047-4838) is the monthly member technical journal of TMS reporting scholarly work from the spectrum of materials science and engineering, from groundbreaking laboratory discoveries, to emerging development and design techniques, to state-of-the-art processing, fabrication, and applications of metals, ceramics, plastics, composites, and other materials. It also offers features of general interest to the materials science and engineering community. The journal is published in partnership with Springer Science + Business Media.

About TMS The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) is a member-driven international professional society dedicated to fostering the exchange of learning and ideas across 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 11,000 professional and student members are metallurgical and materials engineers, scientists, researchers, educators, and administrators from more than 70 countries on six continents. For more information on TMS, visit


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