Materials academics win prestigious international awards

Two academics from The University of Manchester's Department of Materials have been recognised by leading societies for their work in corrosion and materials performance.

Director of the Materials Performance Centre Professor Grace Burke is the 2020 Henry Clifton Sorby Awardee of the International Metallographic Society (IMS)/ASM International, while Professor Stuart Lyon, AkzoNobel Professor of Corrosion Control, is the 2020 recipient of the European Corrosion Medal of the European Federation of Corrosion.

The prestigious Sorby Award, established in 1976, is the highest honour of the IMS/ASM International and recognises lifetime achievement in metallurgy/materials science. Yorkshire native Henry Clifton Sorby (1826-1908) was the first person to systematically study metallic structure, particularly iron and steel, using microscopy. 

Professor Burke was recognised for her research in environment-sensitive behaviour of steels and Ni-base alloys, using advanced microstructural characterisation techniques to address materials degradation and corrosion issues in nuclear power systems. 

She will present the 2020 Sorby Lecture and will receive the award at the International Materials, Applications and Technologies (IMAT) conference, held 14-17 September 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio.


I am deeply honoured to receive this award, and humbled to join the company of Professor Sir Colin Humphreys, Peter Duncumb, Raimond Castaing, and many distinguished recipients of the Sorby Award.  The critical role of microstructure affecting the behaviour of materials remains a crucial aspect of materials research. 

I gratefully acknowledge the many international colleagues with whom I have worked both in industry research and development as well as in academia, and who also share in this honour.
Professor Grace Burke, Director of the Materials Performance Centre

The European Corrosion Medal, first awarded in 1985 by the European Federation of Corrosion (EFC, an association of more than 20 European professional institutes), recognises achievements by a scientist, or group of scientists, in the application of corrosion science in the widest sense. It is the highest honour of the EFC. 

Professor Lyon was cited for his wide professional contributions and world-leading research in the fields of atmospheric corrosion, corrosion protection by organic coatings, corrosion inhibition and in his use of emerging and novel analytical techniques for advancing the fundamental understanding of corrosion mechanisms. The Award presentation will occur at the Eurocorr congress, 6-10 September (this year held virtually), after which Professor Lyon will present the 2020 Corrosion Medal lecture.

I am immensely proud of my colleagues, industrial partners and especially the more than 100 researchers who have supported and worked with me during my career in Corrosion at Manchester. It is only by their cumulative efforts that my achievements have been recognised in this way.

I am deeply honoured to be considered alongside the previous recipients of the award, particularly Professor Graham Wood FRS, who established corrosion as an academic discipline at the former UMIST.
Professor Stuart Lyon, AkzoNobel Professor of Corrosion Control
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