Established with the goal of helping academic programs and researchers in materials science share knowledge and best practices, the University Materials Council (UMC) includes directors, department heads, and chairs of academic programs in the materials field at universities across the United States, Canada, and Australia.
It also now has a familiar face among its leadership, as Veerle Keppens, head of UT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering was recently elected as one of two at-large members on the UMC Executive Committee.
“Being elected to the leadership committee is both humbling and exciting,” Keppens said. “There is a lot of important work to be done, and I am happy and honored to help play a role with the UMC.”
Keppens came to UT in 2003 and became department head in 2015. She has won numerous honors and accolades, including both the Fulbright-Hays and Alexander von Humboldt Fellowships, has been named a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, and has garnered several awards from the college and the university.
Under her guidance, MSE has seen several notable accomplishments, including being named the top metallurgy program in the US and sixth in the world as well as US News ranking the departments graduate program 24th among public universities.
In addition to having the aim of increasing collaboration between members and institution, Keppens will also help with other UMC’s objectives related to materials science, including:
- Helping define and influence new directions;
- Helping promote it;
- Strengthening educational aspects;
- Fostering improvements in both the number and quality of students.
UMC also serves as an important connection between academia and prominent materials societies.