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MatSE Alumnus elected to the National Academy of Engineering


Matthew J. Zaluzec, a two-time graduate of the University of Illinois has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

"I was totally surprised by the induction into the NAE, and I am both humbled and honored to be a member," said Zaluzec.

Zaluzec was selected for his innovation of lightweight materials and manufacturing technologies to improve automotive fuel economy and vehicle safety.

"MatSE is proud to see Dr. Zaluzec’s distinguished career recognized with this honor," said Nancy Sottos, department head and Swanlund Chair.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."

Dr. Zaluzec received his BS in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1984.  From 1984-1987, he was a metallurgical engineer at Dow Chemical’s Freeport Texas operations where he was responsible for industrial gas turbine materials on 32 co-generation power stations at Dow Chemical's global operations.

Zaluzec returned to Illinois to complete his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in 1990. Working in Professor Michael J Rigsbee's group, he investigated thin film coating technology and the development of Epitaxial Nickel and Cobalt Silicides for microelectronic applications.

Upon graduation, Ford Motor Company offered him a leadership position to develop a portfolio of light-weight materials technology for future cars and trucks.  Over his 27 year career at Ford, Zaluzec had many notable materials science deliverables, including the development and launch of the all-aluminum 2005 Ford GT supercar; developing and implementing advanced composite materials and coatings for chassis and powertrain applications; and migrating technology to future car and truck programs. Having held numerous leadership level management positions, he was appointed to Senior Technical leader in 2010 where he was responsible for setting the strategic direction of all materials and advanced manufacturing development at Ford.  Over the span of his career, he directed global R & D efforts of materials engineers and research scientists at Ford Motor Company facilities in the US, UK, Germany, and China.

Zaluzec has presented numerous technical papers on light-weight materials technology and advanced manufacturing process development, and was instrumental in securing over $75 M in US Dept of Energy and Canadian (Ontario) Provincial Government funding for lightweight materials development. He has held numerous adjunct professor positions at universities in the US and abroad and has been awarded 50 US patents. He is a recipient of two prestigious Henry Ford Technical Achievement awards (1999 & 2006) for his contributions and development of lightweight aluminum vehicles and was awarded the 2007 SAE Henry Ford II Distinguished Award for Excellence in Automotive Engineering. In 2015, he was a co-recipient of the U.S. Department of Energy's Technical Achievement Award for the development of Multi-Material Lightweight Vehicle Technology (MMLV).

Dr. Zaluzec retired from Ford and currently holds a teaching position at the University of Florida’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. MatSE at Illinois was fortunate to have Dr. Zaluzec as our keynote speaker for the 2020 Materials Science and Engineering Undergraduate Commencement.