David Ulrich Furrer (BSMetE ’86 MSMetE ’88) was elected president of the world’s largest association for materials engineers and scientists, ASM international, for the 2018-2019 term.
Originally from Wisconsin, and a proud Badger always, Furrer worked under Materials Science and Engineering Professor John Perepezko during his time on campus. He credits Perepezko’s mentorship for his lifelong fascination with materials.
Upon completing his master’s degree, Furrer pursued a doctorate in engineering at Ulm University in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. There, he researched microstructural evolution in superalloys.
After finishing his doctoral degree, Furrer took a position at Pratt & Whitney in West Palm Beach, Florida, but he found the tropical weather far too sultry for his tastes. He returned to his home state, settling in Cudahy, Wisconsin, to work on aerospace alloys at the Laddish Company, which is now known as ATI Forged Products. That position led to an opportunity to work for Rolls-Royce, where he spent several years before returning to Pratt & Whitney as senior fellow discipline lead for materials and processes engineering.
Furrer has served on several university and industry advisory boards and has taught materials and manufacturing courses to mechanical engineering students as an adjunct assistant professor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
As ASM president, Furrer plans to build on the society’s initiatives for education, the computational and digital materials environment, diversity and inclusion, and international activities.
And, his early-career interest in microstructure has persisted to this day, now intersecting with one of his hobbies. An avid photographer, Furrer captures striking metallographic images for display on his walls (in addition to more conventional subjects such as landscapes, aircrafts, cityscapes and the moon).
Author: Sam Million-Weaver