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MEMS Professor Wei Xiong to Co-Chair 50th International CALPHAD Conference

Written by: Jessica Pendrick
Wei Xiong

Entering its 50th year, the CALPHAD (Computer Coupling of Phase Diagrams and Thermochemistry) Conference returns—this time, co-chaired by MEMS Professor, William Kepler Whiteford Fellow, Dr. Wei Xiong. This year, the international conference is being hosted in Cambridge, Massachusetts at MIT, June 25th through June 30th.    

Dr. Xiong first started learning the CALPHAD method as a junior. His studies allowed him to explore the world of thermodynamics through the help of his supervisor’s support. During his time as a PhD student at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden (where the CALPHAD method was developed), he received two consecutive Best Paper Awards from the CALPHAD Journal. His papers focused on “fundamental research of physical metallurgy and model improvement for the CALPHAD method.” Additionally, Dr. Xiong earned the CALPHAD Young Leader Award for his contributions to the community. His research at Pitt focuses “on designing new compositions and processing for advanced alloys, with a particular emphasis on advanced manufacturing, such as 3D printing. We are constantly exploring opportunities to integrate different physical models with machine learning for manufacturing processes and materials design,” he explains.  

The first conference was hosted in Cambridge, MA, in 1973. Fifty years later, CALPHAD is still going strong. It first started as a small gathering of participants, but now is an international gathering of scientists from laboratories all over the world. This year, they celebrate the Homecoming of CALPHAD for their 50th anniversary, holding the conference where it first began, Cambridge, MA, in honor of founder Larry Kaufman. The next time the conference will make an appearance in the United States will be in 2031.  

The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering is devoted to advancing research related to CALPHAD. The Physical Metallurgy and Materials Design (PMMD) Laboratory currently pursues a variety of exciting topics that are related to CALPHAD-based modeling and materials development for advanced manufacturing. “As a faculty member, I find it highly rewarding to nurture and guide the next generation of materials scientists and engineers in this research field”, he adds. Dr. Xiong’s passion and drive for learning and teaching in CALPHAD-adjacent topics shows no end. He explains that “It is crucial to continue advancing this method for designing a broader range of materials, and I am grateful for the opportunity to contribute to this effort. I firmly believe that it is the responsibility of my generation to carry on this important work and build upon the progress made by those who came before us.”     

To learn more about Dr. Xiong’s research, check out his lab research site here: Dr. Wei Xiong's research website

Or visit his Faculty Profile on the Pitt MEMS website here: Professor Wei Xiong