A former Fulbright Scholar at West Virginia University has been honored by a top international engineering and scientific society for his research into ways to prevent defects in superalloy castings used in advanced electric power systems.

Jairo Valdes Ortiz, who worked with Xingbo Liu of WVU College of Engineering and Mineral ResourcesMechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, won the 2011 International Student Paper contest sponsored by the American Society for Metals International, known worldwide as ASM.

Liu said that while at WVU, Ortiz researched materials for use in the next generation of turbines that can significantly improve the efficiency of power generation. As a Fulbright Scholar at WVU, Ortiz helped conduct research with the National Energy Technology Laboratory.

“During his years here working on his Ph.D., we sent him to work with our collaborators at the NETL under the supervision of Paul King,” Liu said. “He has gone on to publish his results in a well-respected peer-journal on metallurgy/materials science. We can be quite proud of his work on the international stage and in the knowledge that he made such progress while at WVU.”

After his time at WVU, Ortiz returned to his native country of Columbia to become a professor at Escuela de Ingeniería Mecánica, Universidad del Valle, Cali.

According to Ortiz, the need for clean and affordable power has resulted in great demand for high-efficiency gas turbine power systems. To improve energy generation efficiency and lower CO 2 emissions, the new generation of land-based gas turbines needs to be larger and operated at a higher temperature. That requires use of superalloys for the rotor disk. However, their applicability is limited by difficulties in production of large ingots without defects that are needed for the turbines. Ortiz’ work sought measures to prevent those defects and increase the efficiency of the turbines.

Ortiz received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Universidad del Valle in 1993. In 1998, he received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at the Universidad Nacional de Columbia located in Bogota. After returning to Cali, Ortiz started his professor career and joined the mechanical engineering department at Universidad del Valle in 1999. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2010 and is continuing his career as a professor at the Universidad del Valle.

The American Society for Metals International is dedicated to serving the materials science and engineering profession through a network of 36,000 members worldwide. ASM provides authoritative information and knowledge on materials and processes, from the structural to the nanoscale. ASM members’ interests include nanotechnology; green or environmentally benign manufacturing; materials for medical devices; materials for the hydrogen economy (fuel cells and hydrogen storage, production and distribution); materials for homeland security; advanced materials for aerospace, automotive, power generation and other industries; and shape memory and superelastic technology.

-WVU-

gg/11/21/11

CONTACT: Xingbo Liu, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
304.293.3339, Xingbo.Liu@mail.wvu.edu

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