FEMS Honorary Members


Robert Lallement, First President of FEMS, 1987-91

Robert Lallement was born in 1934 and studied as an Ingenieur de mines at the Ecole des mines de Paris from 1955-1958. He obtained his Master of Science degree at Caltech, USA, in 1959. After this ‘student period’, he entered the French Atomic Energy Commission in 1961, where he studied the physical properties of plutonium and plutonium compounds, and prepared a doctorate in solid state physics on “Magnetic Properties of Rare-Earth Carbides” in the Division of Metallurgy and Nuclear Fuels. He became head of that division in 1979, and was appointed in 1981 as director delegate for nuclear programmes. In 1989 he was given the responsibility for waste management and decommissioning. He retired in 1997.

Some “friends” were kind enough to push him towards the French Metallurgical Society, of which he became president in 1987 for two years. During those two years, a concern grew among the French, German and British metallurgical societies; the American Metallurgical Society (AMS) was judged too aggressive in creating local sections of AMS in Europe. In reaction, it was decided to create FEMS, and Lallement was adopted as its first president, for two years.

The job was to create the statutes, to imagine how to operate (steering committee, executive committee, general secretary, financing, relations with Brussels, with other materials societies in Europe, relations with AMS, E-MRS, etc.) and also to define better goals and reasons to exist than to fight against AMS!

This period was really exciting, but after two years the job was not finished. He was asked to accept a second term. He accepted, “faute de combattants!”.

The First President is enjoying his retirement, hoping, with much justification, that the foundations of FEMS which were established during his four years at the helm are good enough for today. He remembers all the people involved in the job, and pays special tribute to Sir Geoffrey Ford, the FEMS General Secretary, who helped him and the others so much.


Sir Geoffrey Ford, First Secretary of FEMS, 1987-92

Geoffrey Harold Ford was born in Lewes, Sussex, on August 6 1923 and was educated at the town’s County Grammar School, where he displayed good abilities in science. He was selected for a place at university under the wartime “Hankey Scheme” which allowed promising youngsters to complete the first part of a science degree before recruitment to one of the services. After studying Physics at Bristol University for two years he was commissioned into the Royal Air Force in October 1942. His first appointment was to St. Margaret’s Bay, Kent, to a branch which had responsibility for the air defence radars for the south-east of England. He was then posted to command a mobile radar unit in Algeria before being moving it to Italy where he provided support to the fighter squadrons during the Allied advance up the west coast to Rome and beyond.

After the war, he returned to Bristol University where he completed his degree with first class honours. In May 1947, he was appointed to a permanent commission as a Flying Officer in the RAF. During an enormously successful career he worked on ground-based radar defence systems, the development of bombing and navigational aids, and the development of guided weapons. He attained the rank of Air Marshall on 1 July 1978, by which time he was Controller of Engineering and Supply, in which capacity he was also the Chief Engineer of the RAF.

Following his departure from the RAF in April 1981, and not wishing to enter industry, he became Secretary of the Metals Society in London. He has been credited with transforming the Society into a 20th-century organisation with a Royal Charter as the Institute of Materials (now the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining). He fostered close relations with colleagues in France and Germany, helping to found the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS) in 1985, and serving as its first secretary from 1987 to 1992, when he finally retired.

Geoffrey Ford received two Orders of Chivalry from the Queen. In 1974 he was appointed CB (Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath) and he was knighted KBE (Knight Commander of the British Empire) in 1978. He was also elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He died on 1 April 2007, being survived by his wife Valerie, whom he had married in 1951, and their two sons.


Paul Costa (2001)

Paul Costa was born in Tunis in 1933. After graduating from Ecole Polytechnique in 1955 he studied chemistry and explosives at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Poudres before undertaking research for a PhD in solid state physics at Orsay University. His career began in 1959 at the Nuclear Centre of the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA) in Fontenay-aux-Roses where he remained until 1965. While at CEA he worked in the Plutonium Metallurgy Division undertaking solid state physics research on the transition metals, actinides, carbides and nitrides. During this period he spent time at the University of Cambridge, researching the plastic properties of ionic solids.

In 1965, he moved to Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aerospatiales (ONERA), where he remained until his retirement in 1998. From 1965 to 1979 he was Head of the Solid State Physics Division in which research was conducted on the electronic structure and plasticity of metallic alloys and compounds. In 1979 he became Director for Materials, with responsibility for research on all aerospace materials. In this capacity he was involved in the foundation of the Laboratoire d’Etudes des Microstructures (LEM), a joint venture between CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and ONERA.

Between 1962 and 1977, Paul Costa devoted time to teaching chemistry and solid state physics at institutions including Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications and Ecole Polytechnique. From 1979 to 1997 his involvements included membership of AGARD (the Advisory Group for Aeronautical Research and Development) and presidency of the materials group of GARTEUR (the Group for Aeronautical Research and Technology in Europe). He served as FEMS President, 1998-2000.

Since his retirement, Paul Costa has founded, and is president of, Assosciences Midi-Pyrénées, a federation for the Toulouse region of the major French scientific societies, which organises conferences, all of which are open to the public.


Professor Walter Nicodemi (2001)

After graduating as a Mechanical Industrial Engineer at Politecnico di Milano in 1961, where he became assistant professor in 1963, in 1969 Walter Nicodemi was nominated Full professor in Steelmaking at Politecnico di Milano. Upon the decision of the Academic Senate he was appointed Head of the Metallurgy Section of the same Politecnico and for three years he worked as Director of the Institute of Physical Chemistry Electrochemistry and Metallurgy at the same university.

In 1985, he was assigned the course of Metallurgy and became Head of the Materials Section of the Mechanics Department of the Politecnico di Milano.

He devoted most of his career to the study of stainless steels, obtaining very important achievements in the development of products and their application and diffusion. In 1968 he won the De Carli Award for his achievements in metallurgy studies, in 1990, the American Society of Materials made him a "Fellow" with the following citation: "for outstanding research and development achievements in stainless and special alloys technology and application" and during the same year he was awarded the Gold Medal of the A.I.M.

Professor Nicodemi was President of the A.I.M. for six two-year terms, covering the years 1986-1989, 2000-2003, and 2006-2009. He was also President of the F.A.S.T. (Federal Association of Scientific and Technical Societies) (1996-1998) and from 1994 to 1999 he was Chairman of the Italy Chapter of the A.S.M. He served as an Executive Officer of FEMS and in 2001 was appointed as an Honorary Member of the Federation.

During his career he published more than 180 papers in Italian as well as international journals and conference proceedings, and about 10 books on metallurgy in its different fields (physical metallurgy, technological problems, productive plants, etc.). Three of his most significant books were published by A.I.M.

His interests included metallurgical archaeology, and he edited “The Civilisation of Iron - from Prehistory to the Third Millennium”, published in 2004 by the Riva Group.

Walter Nicodemi died on 28 June 2011.


Gernot Kostorz, President of FEMS, 1993-1994

Prof. Kostorz, a German citizen, was born on March 9, 1941 in Kattowitz/Upper Silesia. He studied physics at the University of Göttingen where he took his degree and earned his doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) on the plasticity of crystals under Professor Peter Haasen at the Institute of Metal Physics. From 1968 to 1971 he held postdoctoral and Research Associate positions at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, USA. In 1971 he joined the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble, France, where he took part in developing neutron scattering methods for the investigation of crystal defects and phase transitions. From 1974 to 1978, he taught courses on plasticity and physical metallurgy at the University of Grenoble. From 1978 to 1980, he was a Senior Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Metal Research in Stuttgart. Gernot Kostorz served as full Professor of Physics at the Institute of Applied Physics at the ETH Zurich from April 1, 1980 until his retirement on March 31, 2006. He was head of the Materials Faculty 1984/1986 and head of the Department of Physics 1996/1998. His research and teaching focused on the relationship between microstructure and properties of real solids. He was a guest scientist at the Argonne National Laboratory in 1977 and again in 1986 and a guest professor at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in 1995, at the Charles University, Prague, in 1996, and at the University of Vienna in 2005 and 2006. He has (co-) authored over 280 scientific papers and (co-) edited numerous books and conference proceedings.

Prof. Kostorz was the first Vice-President (1991, 1992) and the second President (1993, 1994) of the Federation of European Materials Societies. He also served on the Executive Committee and various FEMS ad-hoc groups over many years and became an Honorary Member of FEMS in 2003.

He was Editor-in-Chief of the eight journals of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) from 2005 to 2012, Editor and Special Issues Editor of the journal Materials Science and Engineering A from 1984 to 2008, and is presently a Co-Editor of the Journal of Applied Crystallography. He has been General Secretary of the Swiss Association of University Professors since 2004. He is also an honorary member of the Metals Science Society of the Czech Republic (1996) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde (DGM, 2004). In 2005, he received the "Heyn Denkmünze" of the DGM for his contributions to the introduction of neutron scattering in materials research.


Wilfried Kurz, President of FEMS, 2004-2005

Wilfried Kurz is Professor emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). He received his diploma and doctor’s degree from the University of Leoben, Austria. In 1964 he joined the staff of the Battelle Geneva Research Laboratories, which he left in 1971 as head of the physical metallurgy group to take up a position at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). Until his retirement in 2003, he directed the Laboratory of Physical Metallurgy as well as the Laser Materials Processing Centre. After participating in 1972/73 in the foundation of the Materials Science and Engineering curriculum at EPFL he was twice Head of Department. During 2001-2007 he served as a member of the Executive Committee of FEMS, and during 2004/05 as its president.

His main research activity has involved experimental and theoretical work on the development of microstructure in materials, specifically dendritic, peritectic and eutectic solidification, microsegregation and solid-state transformation kinetics and also on solidification processing such as continuous casting of steel, welding, laser treatment, rapid solidification processing, single crystal casting, directional solidification, and epitaxial single crystal laser repair. Co-author of four books (including "Fundamentals of Solidification" and "Introduction to Materials Science") he has published some 230 papers and patents (ISI highly cited author).

Professor Kurz is a Corresponding Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He is the recipient of the “Hans Malzacher Award” from the Austrian Society for Metallurgy and Materials, the “Bruce Chalmers Award” from The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS, USA), the “Medaille Guillet Bastien” of Société Française de Métallurgie et de Matériaux, the “Heyn-Denkmünze” of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Materialkunde, the “Luigi Losana Gold Medal” of Associazione Italiana di Metallurgia, “The European Materials Medal” from the Federation of European Materials Societies, the “Albert Sauveur Achievement Award” of ASM International, and the “Chinese National Friendship Award” of the People’s Republic of China. He is also an Honorary Member of the Iron and Steel Institute of Japan.


Paul McIntyre, FEMS Secretary 2004 - 2010

Paul McIntyre received his BSc degree in metallurgy from Kings College Durham/University of Newcastle upon Tyne. His PhD was granted in 1970 by the same university for his thesis on “Hydrogen Embrittlement of Niobium and Vanadium”. His professional career was centered on different aspects of corrosion and hydrogen assisted cracking of materials, having worked at the The British Iron and Steel Research Association in Sheffield, British Steel Corporation in Rotherham, CEGB/NPTEC/NPRT in Leatherhead and National Power in Swindon. He was involved for a long time with the BSI Committee ISE/NFE/8 and the ISO Technical Committee 156, both on corrosion of metals and alloys. Paul produced more than 200 publications during his professional life; for ten years he was the Editor of Corrosion Engineering, Science and Technology. For his technical-scientific contribution he was awarded the Saville Shaw Medal of the Society of Chemical Industry 1970 and the T. B. Marsden Award of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in 2003.
Paul was Secretary of the Federation of European Materials Societies between 2003 and 2010. With his friendly and precise nature, Paul was a key person in keeping the contact to our member associations and running the FEMS administration. In recognition of his services, the FEMS General Assembly nominated Paul in 2011 as an Honorary Member of our Federation.
Paul was also a consultant at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, and for fourteen years the Scientific Secretary to the European Federation of Corrosion; the Honorary Life EFC Membership was conferred to Paul for his commitment to EFC during EUROCORR 2011 in Stockholm.