Students, faculty and researchers in the department are fortunate to have access to a variety of endowed lectures, award presentations and on-campus visits from materials scientists at the top of their fields.  Many of these special events also serve to honor Materials Science and Engineering alumni who served the department, University and entire materials community with great honor.

David Ford McFarlandDavid Ford McFarland Award

The David Ford McFarland Award for Achievement in Metallurgy was established in 1948 by the Penn State Chapter of the American Society for Metals (now ASM International) to honor graduates of The Pennsylvania State University who have honorably distinguished themselves in some field of metallurgy.  The award was named in honor of Dr. David Ford McFarland—former professor and department head. View McFarland Awardees


Nelson W. Taylor

Nelson W. Taylor Lecture in Materials

The Nelson W. Taylor Lecture Series in Materials Science and Engineering honors the memory of Professor Nelson W. Taylor (1869 - 1965) who was head of Penn State’s Department of Ceramics from 1933-1943. During his tenure as department head, Dr. Taylor refined the ceramics undergraduate curriculum, strengthened the graduate program, expanded ties with industry and was able to attract important scientists (for example Woldemar A. Weyl) to the faculty. He is recognized as the individual most responsible for establishing the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences as a major center for ceramics research. The Nelson W. Taylor Lecture Series was established in 1969 and has consistently attracted scientists of international prominence.  View Taylor Lectures


Richard E. TresslerRichard E. Tressler Lectures in Materials

The Richard E. Tressler Lectures in Materials honors the very important work of Professor Richard E. Tressler who was head of Penn State's Department of Materials Science and Engineering from 1991-2001.  During Professor Tressler's 10 year tenure as department head, he sought to enhance Penn State's reputation for excellence in materials by hiring over 15 new faculty members and by reorganizing the department from an option-focused organization into a global materials organization being emulated by the leading materials departments across the world.  Professor Tressler retired as Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering in 2001 and received the Hosler Alumni Scholar Award from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences as recognition for his contributions and accomplishments. View Tressler Lectures