Want to learn more about ACRC?  Contact any member of our core team.

Dwpi019Diran Apelian
Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Founding Director, Metal Processing Institute
Director, Advanced Casting Research Center
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
B.S., Drexel University, 1968; Sc.D., MIT, 1972

Diran Apelian is Howmet Professor of Engineering and the Founding Director of the Metal Processing Institute (MPI) at WPI.  He received his B.S. degree in metallurgical engineering from Drexel University in 1968 and his doctorate in materials science and engineering from MIT in 1972.  He worked at Bethlehem Steel’s Homer Research Laboratories before joining Drexel University’s faculty in 1976.  At Drexel, he held various positions, including professor, head of the Department of Materials Engineering, associate dean of the College of Engineering and vice-provost of the University.

He joined WPI in July 1990 as the Institute’s Provost. In 1996, he returned to the faculty and leads the activities of MPI. He is credited with pioneering work in various areas of solidification processing and powder metallurgy – specifically in molten metal processing, aluminum alloy development, plasma deposition, spray casting/forming, and semi-solid processing of metals.  Apelian is the recipient of many distinguished honors and awards – national and international; he has over 500 publications to his credit; and serves on several technical, corporate and editorial boards. During 2008/2009, he served as President of TMS. Apelian is a Fellow of TMS, ASM, and APMI; he is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Armenian Academy of Sciences.

Research Expertise: Solidification processing, spray casting, molten metal processing, aluminum foundry processing, plasma processing, and knowledge engineering in materials processing.


Carl Soderhjelm
Associate Director, ACRC
Assistant Research Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
M.S., Engineering Nanoscience, Lund University, 2013
PhD., Materials Science & Engineering, WPI

Dr. Soderhjelm received his PhD from Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he continued with his research for the Advanced Casting Research Center (ACRC). As a Postdoctoral researcher he worked on particulate reinforcement of aluminum alloys as well as novel metal additive manufacturing process development. As appointed Associate Director of the ACRC his current research is focused on processing of semi-solid and liquid metals as well as incorporation of additive manufacturing into the aluminum die casting industry.


Brajendra MishraDr. Mishra
Kenneth G. Merriam Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Director, Metal Processing Institute
Director, Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
B. Tech, Indian Institute of Technology, 1981
M.S., University of Minnesota, 1983, PhD., University of Minnesota, 1986

Brajendra Mishra received his B. Tech degree in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur in 1981, his M.S. in Material Science from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 1983 and his Ph.D. in 1986 from the University of Minnesota.   An internationally known researcher and educator in metallurgical and materials science and engineering, Mishra is currently engaged in work focused on environmental management through the development of chemically benign processes and the development of materials with enhanced properties. His research over the past 25 years has been supported by more than $40 million in sponsored awards from multiple federal agencies, national laboratories, and industry. He is the author of more than 600 publications, including more than 280 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has also edited 18 books and written seven chapters on chemical processing and extractive metallurgy.

He served as a trustee of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) from 2007 to 2012 and its president in 2011. He was president of TMS (the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society) in 2006. His scholarship and leadership has been honored with a number of awards, including Honorary Membership, the highest award bestowed by the Indian Institute of Metals; the Alexander Scott Distinguished Service Award from TMS; Honorary Professor of Kazakh National Technical University and the Presidential Citation from AIME


Zhong CroppedYu (Michael) Zhong
Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering Department
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
M.S. Sichuan University, 2000; Ph.D. Penn State Univ., 2005

Dr. Yu Zhong is an Associate Professor in WPI. He received his Ph.D. from Penn State (2005). After a short-term working as Research Associate, he joined Saint-Gobain High Performance Research Center in Northborough, MA. He had spent his 8-year career there working as internal technical scientist in charge the application of thermodynamics and kinetics to various materials R&D projects. He switched back to academia as Assistant Professor in Florida International University (FIU) in 2013 and joined WPI in 2017. He received the TMS FMD Young Leaders Professional Development Award in 2016 and ONR summer faculty fellowship in 2015, 2016, and 2017. Dr. Zhong has more than 36 peer-reviewed journal papers published/accepted, 2 book chapters, and 2 patents. His research is currently supported by Department of Energy (DOE), American Chemical Society (ACS), and Advanced Casting Research Center (ACRC).



At-Large Members

dave-weissDavid Weiss
Advanced Casting Research Center
Eck IndustriesP.O. Box 967
Manitowoc, WI 54220

David Weiss is responsible for development and application of high performance alloys and casting concepts for the foundry and their customers. Eck Industry is an acknowledged leader in the production of high strength aluminum alloy and aluminum alloy composite castings. Weiss participated in the development of the lost foam casting process for magnesium alloys for which he shared the Howard Taylor Award from the American Foundry Society (AFS), has worked on modified low pressure casting techniques for sand molds and has patented a hybrid high-pressure shell casting process. He received a second Howard Taylor Award for his work on low pressure casting of magnesium.


Kevin Anderson
Past Chair
Advanced Casting Research Center Mercury Marine
W6250 Pioneer Road
Fond du Lac, WI 54935

Dr. Anderson is presently a Mercury Fellow for Mercury Marine in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. Dr. Anderson has extensive research and hands – on experience with numerous materials, but most notably aluminum alloys. Dr. Anderson has worked with the vast majority of product forms such as castings, plate, sheet, forgings, and extrusions. Dr. Anderson holds 20 United States patents, and many international patents. The most significant and commercially valuable patents are in the areas of aluminum alloy development in both cast and wrought alloys, aluminum temper development for corrosion resistance, heat treatment of aluminum alloys, restoration process for cast surfaces, and discontinuously reinforced aluminum matrix composites by powder metallurgy. He has taught “Aluminum and It’s Alloys” for ASM since 1999.