Accomplished engineering professor passes away

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Accomplished engineering professor passes away

Posted: September 02, 2010

Rustum Roy, Distinguished Research Professor of Materials passed away Aug. 26 at age 86.

Rustum Roy, Distinguished Research Professor of Materials passed away Aug. 26 at age 86.

Rustum Roy, Distinguished Research Professor of Materials in Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, passed away Aug. 26, 2010 at age 86.

Roy, an internationally recognized leader in materials engineering and science, came to ASU part-time a decade ago after a 50-year teaching and research career at Penn State University.

He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1973, and later made a member of the national academies of Sweden, India, Russia and Japan.

Roy’s specialty was the synthesis of new materials. He published more than 700 papers and books in materials engineering and science. At Penn State, he established one of the nation’s top solid state science programs and helped found the internationally prominent Materials Research Laboratory.

In his work at ASU, he continued to demonstrate “creativity and leadership in research and in his ideas on science policy,” said Deirdre Meldrum, dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Meldrum points to Roy’s early work that helped set the stage for today’s advances in nanotechnology research, and other efforts that contributed to advances in agriculture, health care, and science and engineering education.

“His knowledge was so vast,” Meldrum said, noting that Roy could converse ably on public policy, business, ethics and theology. During his career, he advised government leaders and heads of state.

“He was phenomenal,” said Subhash Mahajan, an ASU Regents’ Professor and Technical Fellow in the Schools of Engineering. “His passing is an irreparable loss.”

Roy was elected to the American Society for Engineering Education Hall of Fame. Among other honors were an honorary doctorate from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the International Prize of the Fine Ceramic Association and the American Chemical Society’s Dupont Chemistry of Materials Award. He was made a Distinguished Life Member of the American Ceramic Society.

He also served as a visiting professor of medicine at the University of Arizona.

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