Siegfried Hecker Joins his “Metallurgical Heroes” with ASM International Honorary Membership

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CISAC senior fellow Siegfried Hecker has been awarded an honorary membership by ASM International – one of the most prestigious awards from the world’s largest association of materials scientists and engineers who study and work with metals.

The ASM International board of trustees cited professor Hecker “for scientific enlightenment of Plutonium technology; for leadership of Los Alamos National Laboratory and for leadership in international control of nuclear arms.”

Hecker said he was proud to join a list of honorees that included many of his “old metallurgical heroes,” including Arden Bemet (former director of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology), and Thomas Edison (inventor of the phonograph, movie camera and light bulb) who was awarded an honorary membership in 1929.

ASM International established its honorary membership award in 1919 to recognize “truly outstanding individuals who have significantly furthered the purposes of the Society through an evidenced appreciation of the importance of the science of materials and through distinguished service to the materials science and engineering profession and the progress of mankind.”

Hecker was also invited this week to deliver the Alpha Sigma Mu International Professional Honor Society for Materials Science and Engineering distinguished lecture in Columbus, Ohio, where he recounted highlights from his storied career, from his time as a student at Ohio’s Case Institute of Technology, rising up the ranks to become director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, leading cleanup efforts at Russia’s former nuclear test site Semipalatinsk, and his current track-two diplomacy and nuclear non-proliferation initiatives with scientists from Russia, Pakistan, North Korea and Iran.

He concluded his lecture expressing the hope that scientists would use nuclear power to contribute to global peace and prosperity, rather than create war and disaster.