November 2010

Something old, something new

CIM Metallurgical Society gets new name

By Marlene Eisner

What’s in a name? Everything, and that is why last month, the Metallurgical Society of CIM announced it was changing its name to the Metallurgy and Materials Society of CIM.

Incorporated in 1967, the 1,700-member society represents the technical diversity of the metals, minerals and materials community, and is dedicated to expanding the professional horizons of its members to better serve that sector of the industry.

Including materials in the official name was a move that just made sense. The society has traditionally been associated with the production and processing of metals, but the engineering of materials is very broad and encompassing. Non-metallic materials, such as composites and ceramics, have been around a long time and have always been integral to the society’s mission and activities.

“It’s not like some of these materials are absolutely new,” explains Greg Richards, president of the Metallurgy and Materials Society (still referred to as “MetSoc”) and an engineer with Teck.

But alongside the familiar are the new, emerging materials that have gained prominence in the last few decades, such as nanomaterials and biomaterials, adding to the potential breadth and scope of the society.

“We’ve always recognized the importance of materials in MetSoc, but as the field diversifies and grows, there is a need to indicate to the profession that we will cover these as well as the traditional areas of metallurgy,” adds Richards.

Another driver behind the initiative was globalization. It was becoming evident that among other metallurgical societies, there was a growing trend to recognize the inclusion of materials as a way to better represent the full field and what it entails.

And finally, as long as MetSoc was tweaking its name to reflect the inclusion of materials, it was decided the timing was right to re-think and re-vamp the mission statement.

“To a degree, we want to signal to the profession that this is a Canadian organization within CIM and we are serious about materials,” explains Richards. “If there were any ambiguity or doubts in the past about who we were seeking to serve, then here’s the answer. We just want to recognize what we’ve already been doing and that we are committed to it, will continue to do it, and will do more to bring in materials.”

The end result is a blending of the old with the new, reaching out to materials on the one hand, while recognizing the history and core strength that exists in the Metallurgical Society.

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