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Rod Riek Receives Prestigious Merton C. Flemings Metallurgy Award

The bi-annual award, given by the Advanced Casting Research Center of WPI, recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the metal casting industry.

Rod Riek, principal at Material Insights, LLC, has been awarded the Merton C. Flemings Award from the Advanced Casting Research Center (ACRC) of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). The biannual award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the understanding of solidification processing fundamentals, which have been applied commercially in the foundry industry.

“I feel incredibly honored to receive the M. C. Flemings Award, and I also feel a sense of deep humility when I consider the caliber and contributions of the prior award recipients,” said Riek, who received the award at a formal ceremony on June 3, 2015, during ACRC’s bi-annual meeting on the WPI campus. “These recipients developed much of the fundamental material and foundry processing science that I have relied on for practical industrial application development throughout my career.  I have also been truly blessed with the opportunity for learning, collaboration, and friendship with so many colleagues through the years at ACRC.”

Riek, who received his undergraduate degree in metallurgy and materials science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his law degree from Suffolk University Law School, has had a long and impressive career. He is currently the principal at Material Insights LLC, a consultancy advising clients in materials and processing related issues, product development, and management of technology development.  Riek retired in 2013 from Harley-Davidson Motor Company in Milwaukee, WI, where he was chief engineer for Materials Engineering and Technology Development for 15 years.  He spent the last 40 years in technical management positions in a number of manufacturing companies heavily engaged in materials and materials processing development.

The Flemings award was established in 1991 and named in honor of Merton C. Flemings, a prominent inventor and specialist in metallurgy and materials science.

About Advanced Casting Research Center

The ACRC is an academic-industry partnership headquartered on the campus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass. Built on the university’s strengths and focused on helping industry solve technical issues, the center provides a collaborative environment in which members, faculty, and students discuss challenges in the metal casting industry, specifically in the areas of light metals, non-ferrous alloys, and semi-solid processing. 

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation's first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI's talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university's innovative Global Perspective Program. There are more than 30 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.

For more information about WPI and ACRC visit

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