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Photo of Aaron Krawitz

The Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA) recently named Professor Emeritus Aaron Krawitz a fellow. Photo courtesy of Aaron Krawitz

Aaron Krawitz, a professor emeritus in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, has been selected a Fellow of the Neutron Scattering Society of America (NSSA) “for seminal contributions to the application of neutron diffraction in materials science and engineering.” The purpose of the NSSA is the advancement of neutron scattering research in the United States.

Krawitz was one of the earliest to make residual stress measurements in engineering materials. The idea of using neutrons as a probe below the surface in engineering materials originated in the late 1970s. The first real subsurface measurements were in Missouri at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) and in Germany in 1979. Krawitz also made the first measurements on composite materials, at the Argonne National Laboratory, in the early 1980s. The field has grown from a novelty to a full-fledged technique that is utilized at research reactors around the world, with many dedicated instruments. Krawitz played a role in developing the neutron stress community through service activities and articles about its history.

Residual stresses emerge during the production or forming of engineering materials, and can strongly influence performance in service. The primary technical contributions of Krawitz involved: measurements in a large weldment being considered for the NASA Space Shuttle program at MURR with MAE Associate Professor Andy Winholtz, for which important methodology was developed; and, a 30-year effort to understand the nature and role of residual stresses in cemented carbide composites, with EF Drake, at Reed Tool in Houston. These materials are critical to oil, gas and mineral mining and important insights were gained as to their effectiveness.

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