AU Press Releases

Alfred University names Sundaram as Inamori Professor of Materials Science

Dr. S. K. Sundaram, former chief materials scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has been appointed an Inamori Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University.

The Inamori Professorships were created in 2005, when the Kyocera Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of advanced ceramic materials, made a $10 million gift to the University’s endowment to support the School of Engineering. The gift honored Kazuo Inamori, founder and chairman of the board of Kyocera.

The University, in consultation with the Kyocera Corporation, agreed to use the income generated by the $10 million endowment to support four Inamori Professors, all recognized experts in their fields.

Sundaram is the third Inamori Professor to be appointed to the AU faculty. Others are Scott Misture, Inamori Professor of Materials Science, and Mark Towler, Inamori Professor of Biomaterials.

“We are excited to have Prof. Sundaram join the faculty as an Inamori Professor,” said Doreen Edwards, dean of the School of Engineering. “Sundaram is internationally recognized for his interdisciplinary work in advanced materials processing and characterization. He possesses a depth and breadth of knowledge that will undoubtedly strengthen our materials science, biomaterials, and glass science programs."

Sundaram says he is just as excited to be at Alfred University and the Inamori School of Engineering, which he sees has the potential to develop into a center of excellence in materials for energy and environmental applications. He sees possibilities for “strategic alliances” with Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Richland, WA, and Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC, where there are several AU alumni, and the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island.

“Alfred is perfectly positioned,” he said. “Alfred University will continue to grow, and great things can happen here.”

Sundaram, who joined Pacific Northwest Laboratory in 1994 after earning his Ph.D. degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, became chief materials scientist at the lab in 2002, and has more than 16 years of scientific, technical and managerial experience.

Sundaram’s major areas of interest include THz /millimeter wave science and technology, multi-scale materials processing, live-cell spectroscopy for rapid screening, and ultrafast materials science and engineering. He is internationally recognized for his interdisciplinary approach to research, and has considerable experience in assembling highly functional multidisciplinary research teams.

During his career, he has made more than 100 presentations; edited or contributed to 11 books; published more than 75 peer-reviewed publications and technical reports; mentored and/or supported more than 40 students; and organized or co-organized several national and international symposia on advanced topics in materials science. He has authored two patents and three patent applications, and has several invention disclosures.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including four R&D 100 Awards, two for millimeter wave technologies in 2001 and 2006; one for multi-scale materials processing in 2008; and one for IncubATR®-Live Cell Monitor in 2010.

Sundaram is an elected Fellow of the American Association of Advancement of Sciences (2006), American Ceramic Society (2006), and Society of Glass Technology UK (2009). He is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), Materials Research Society (MRS), American Society of Metals (ASM), the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), and American Physical Society.

He is also a life member of Indian Ceramic Society and Materials Research Society-India. He has been inducted in to Keramos, Sigma Xi, and Order of Engineer in 1994, 2000, and 2006, respectively.

As an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow, he was honored for his "leadership and innovative contributions to a diverse cross-section of materials sciences, particularly new tools for synthesis and characterization of novel materials, diagnostics and nanomaterials.”

He earned an executive certificate in Strategy and Innovation from Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2007. He has been an adjunct faculty at School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA (1997-2010). He is a visiting scientist at MIT (since 1998) and has held visiting scholar appointments at Harvard (2002) and Princeton (2005).

His undergraduate work was completed at Indian Institute of Ceramics in Kolkata, India, and his master’s degree at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India.