BU Chapter of ASM International, SAGE and MSE Sponsored Career Discussion Panel


DSCF3909Last Fall, the BU Chapter of ASM International, SAGE and the Division of Materials Science & Engineering organized a career discussion panel.  DSCF3903The event began with dinner, followed by the panel discussion moderated by Nancy Li, who asked various questions related to career choices, work/life balance, secret to success, and suggestion for youngsters. This discussion was followed by a Q&A from the audience, and then a refreshment break. DSCF3971After the break,  the audience broke up into small groups and sat down with the speaker they were most interested in and had the opportunity to ask more questions. (Photo credit: JiaPeng Xu (SE PhD), Renfei Sun (ME MS’13) and Chuan Tian (ECE MS’13)




PANELISTS: (left to right in photo above)

Ronald Latanision, Ph.D.
Corporate Vice President

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Latanision was the Director of The H.H. Uhlig Corrosion Laboratory in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at M.I.T., and held joint faculty appointments in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the Department of Nuclear Engineering. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of ASM International, NACE International, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was a founder of Altran Materials Engineering Corporation, established in 1992. Dr. Latanision is a member of the International Corrosion Council and serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Corrosion Reviews.

Dr. Latanision’s research interests are focused largely in the areas of materials processing and in the corrosion of metals and other materials in aqueous (ambient as well as high temperature and pressure) environments. He specializes in corrosion science and engineering with particular emphasis on materials selection for contemporary and advanced engineering systems and in failure analysis. His expertise extends to electrochemical systems and processing technologies, ranging from fuel cells and batteries to supercritical water power generation and waste destruction. Dr. Latanision’s research interests include stress corrosion cracking and hydrogen embrittlement of metals and alloys, water and ionic permeation through thin polymer films, photoelectrochemistry, and the study of aging phenomena/life prediction in engineering materials and systems.

Dr. Latanision has served as a science advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology in Washington, D.C. He has also served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Massachusetts Office of Science and Technology. Dr. Latanision has served as a member of the National Materials Advisory Board of the National Research Council. In June of 2002, Dr. Latanision was appointed by President George W. Bush to membership on the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, a position in which he continues to serve in the Administration of President Barack Obama.

Dr. Daniel P. Henkel
Scientific Director
Saint-Gobain’s North American

Dr. Dan Henkel is currently Scientific Director for Saint-Gobain’s North American operations serving as the key scientific advisor to the Northboro R&D Center director. He is responsible for invigorating exploratory research, establishing technologies that lead the company into new fields, strengthening scientific university relations, and energizing technical exchanges within Saint-Gobain’s network of R&D centers. At Pall Corporation, he was the Director of Technology where he lead technology acquisitions, intellectual property licensing and alliances, and leading a global search for new technologies to satisfy the needs identified by Pall’s line of businesses. Prior to Pall, he formed a Massachusetts-based consulting firm.

At NASA Langley Research Center, he was a Materials Division group leader where he developed XRD techniques for assessing weld quality in Space Station battery arrays. He also did TEM analysis of dislocation dipole structures, lead the acoustic emission research program for Al-Li alloys, and did failure analysis of on-board piping for the Space Shuttle. While in Virginia, Dr. Henkel was an adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary instructing graduate level materials courses in the Dept. of Applied Science.

Dan received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Penn State, then a MS and PhD in materials science from Lehigh University. He attended the Caltech Senior Executive program on Technology and Innovation Management and the Harvard University program on Leadership Communication Strategies for Senior Executives.  He authored the fifth edition of Structures and Properties of Engineering Materials with Dr. Alan Pense for the classic McGraw-Hill Materials Science and Engineering series.

Dan has been a member of ASM International since 1985, being inducted into the 2010 College of Fellows and was awarded the prestigious Engineering Materials Achievement Award from ASM in 2011. He has also received a NASA Research Fellowship, an NSF National Scholar Grant, and four U.S. patents.

J. David Rowatt, PhD, PE
Director of Research

Since joining Schlumberger in 1997, David’s career has encompassed a variety of assignments as both an engineer and a manager related to research and development (R&D) and manufacturing of oilfield equipment. In his various roles, David has worked for two different business segments (Drilling & Measurements and Artificial Lift) and six different R&D centers in the U.S., the U.K., and Singapore. He currently serves as the Research Director for Mechanical and Materials Sciences where his group conducts basic and applied research supporting all of Schlumberger’s business segments.

David’s technical expertise is in the general area of machine and system design with an emphasis on solid mechanics and advanced materials. David graduated from the University of Illinois in 1991 with a BS in Aerospace Engineering and received his MS and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Rice University in 1993 and 1995 respectively. David is a licensed Professional Engineer and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

David’s professional experience has been primarily focused on engineering and technical management related to R&D. He has helped lead the development of state-of-the art, fit-for-purpose technologies for slim-hole rotary steerable drilling tools and electric submersible pumps for extreme high temperature environments as well as advanced materials for zonal isolation and stimulation. This work has allowed David to interact closely with Business Development and Field Operations teams to develop breakthrough technologies for some of the oil and gas industry’s most challenging problems. These projects have received three “Performed by Schlumberger” awards and have been nominated for various industry awards for technical innovation. In addition to R&D, David has a keen interest in operations research and manufacturing technology to enable efficient and cost effective manufacturing operations.

David has authored or co-authored numerous technical papers for professional journals, industry publications and conference proceedings and has received patents for many of his inventions. He has developed and taught technical courses on machine design for downhole oilfield equipment and has been an invited speaker on the topics of new technology and manufacturing for numerous professional society and industry events.

Suri Sastri, Ph.D.
Founder, Chairman and CEO

Dr. Sastri founded Surmet Corporation in 1982 as commercial enterprise serving multiple manufacturing industries with products based on PVD coatings and technical materials. Focusing early on the Semiconductor manufacturing industry, Surmet became the leading manufacturer and supplier of Electrostatic clamps and precision coated components. This highly profitable Advanced Materials business had about twenty employees in 2000.

In an effort to expand into next generation materials and applications, Surmet acquired the ALON optical ceramics technology from Raytheon Company in 2002. In the same year, Surmet also acquired the assets of MA’ Com’s ART Division in Buffalo, NY. In 2003 Surmet established Surmet Precision Optics Division near San Diego, CA by buying up an Optics fabrication company. The head count rose to about 100 full time employees in 2004. Then in 2007, in order to focus more on the transparent ceramics business, Surmet divested the legacy Semiconductor operations to Entegris Inc. a publicly traded US company that is a major supplier to the Global Semiconductor Industry. Thirty of Surmet employees went with the transaction and are thriving under the Entegris umbrella now.

Currently Surmet is Head quartered in Burlington, MA with manufacturing facilities in Buffalo, NY and Murrieta, CA, in addition to MA. With about fifty full time employees, Surmet is a leader in the development and sales of precision Optical components made from advanced polycrystalline transparent ceramics.

Dr. Sastri holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Metallurgical Engineering from the Banaras University in India and a Ph.D in Metallurgical Engineering from Imperial College in London.