Corrosion expert David Duquette, of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been named John Tod Horton ’52 Distinguished Professor in Materials Engineering. The endowed professorship is one of the highest honors bestowed on a Rensselaer faculty member.
“Since joining Rensselaer in 1970, Professor Duquette has been fiercely dedicated to the Institute, its faculty, and students,” said Rensselaer Provost Robert Palazzo. “Under David’s stewardship, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering has achieved considerable success in nanotechnology, while also maintaining a world-class academic reputation. He is an intellectual leader, a truly exceptional researcher and educator, and without a doubt one of the finest materials engineers of his generation.”
A world leader in the field of corrosion, electrochemical phenomena, and processing, Duquette has recently expanded his research interests to work on the challenge of on-chip interconnect technology for semiconductor applications.
After spending four years in the early 1960s in the U.S. Coast Guard as a commissioned officer, Duquette earned his doctorate in metallurgy and materials science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He then worked for two years in research and development at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft before joining Rensselaer in 1970. Duquette was named a full professor in 1976, and served as head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering from 2000 to 2007.
In his 37 years as a faculty member at Rensselaer, Duquette has published more than 200 academic papers, primarily in the areas of environmental degradation of materials and electrochemical processing of semiconductor interconnects. Duquette has also graduated more than 40 doctoral students and 40 master’s students.
Throughout his academic career, Duquette has won numerous awards and recognitions for breakthrough research and advancing the state of materials science.
He received the Alcoa Foundation Award for Outstanding Research Achievement from 1978-79, was named a Case Centennial Scholar by Case-Western Reserve University in 1980, was awarded a Senior Scientist Humboldt Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 1983, and the Whitney Award for outstanding contributions to corrosion science from the National Association of Corrosion Engineers in 1990. He received the Acta Metallurgica Outstanding Paper Award in 1987.
Duquette is a fellow of the American Society for Metals (ASM), the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), and the Electrochemical Society (ECS). In 2000, he received the Distinguished Career Award from the Hudson-Mohawk Section of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society. In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Duquette to the United States Nuclear Waste Technology Review Board.
At Rensselaer, Duquette continues to supervise materials science graduate students. He is also deeply involved with the Institute’s participation in the National Institute for Nano-Engineering (NINE), a partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and a select group of leading universities and corporations that will present a host of new cutting-edge internship and research experiences for Rensselaer students and faculty. He was named to the board of governors of NINE, effective Jan. 1, 2008. Duquette also serves on a National Materials Advisory Board Panel that is in the process of producing a comprehensive report on the status of education in corrosion science and engineering in the United States.
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