As a senior materials research engineer, Spowart executes multiple research programs within AFRL. He is a subject matter expert for metallic-matrix and polymer-matrix composites.
One of Spowart’s greatest feats is exemplified by the invention and commissioning of the Robo-Met.3D automated serial sectioning device. The development of this tool enables others in the field to perform their own research into the 3-D microstructure of materials and discover new knowledge that would not have been available otherwise.
“I personally know of no other colleague who shares himself, time, ideas and personal warmth as much as Spowart,” said Dr. S. L. Semiatin, an AFRL senior scientist.
The Brimacombe Medalist award is so named after Professor J. Keith Brimacombe. He was president of TMS in 1993 and held positions at various materials and metallurgical organizations. At the time of his early death at the age of 54, he was noted as one of the world’s most outstanding process metallurgists.
The mid-career award recognizes individuals with sustained excellence and achievement in business, technology, education, public policy, or science related to materials science and engineering and with a record of continuing service to the profession.
J. J. Lewandowski, professor of engineering at Case Western Reserve University, said that Spowart’s mentoring efforts and leadership roles demonstrate a unique human quality that also captures the spirit embodied by Keith Brimacombe.
Spowart said, “I am thrilled to accept this award. I am especially appreciative of the team effort and unswerving support of our chain of command, who prioritize excellence in research and development. AFRL’s culture motivates each one of us to achieve greater goals for the Air Force.”
The award will be presented at the annual TMS meeting, to be held March 2019 in San Antonio.