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  • Prestigious Award Presented to RMS President Prof Grace Burke
    Prof Grace Burke

Prestigious Award Presented to RMS President Prof Grace Burke

Aug 11 2020

The Royal Microscopical Society is proud to report that current RMS President Grace Burke has received the prestigious Henry Clifton Sorby award of the International Metallographic Society/ASM International, which is awarded annually to an individual who is internationally recognised for contributions to metallurgy/materials science made throughout their career.

A pioneering materials research scientist, Grace has a wealth of experience on both sides of the Atlantic.  Since joining the University of Manchester in late 2011, she has been Director of the Materials Performance Centre where her research group focuses on understanding the role of microstructure on the behaviour of materials used in power generation applications, including irradiation damage of structure alloys, stress corrosion cracking and environment-sensitive behaviour of steels and Ni-base alloys, as well as applications of in situ analytical TEM to study nanoscale metal/environment reactions.

Her emphasis on advanced microstructural characterisation techniques to understand the microstructure and its role in materials performance has been a continuing theme of her research.

Returning to the US after her PhD in Metallurgy at Imperial College of Science and Technology, Grace has over 35 years’ experience as a research scientist in the United States, including the Westinghouse Science and Technology Centre and the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory. During her time at the latter, she became the first woman Consultant in the history of the Bettis Laboratory, performing research on structural materials for nuclear power systems.

Grace said: “I am deeply honoured to receive the prestigious Henry Clifton Sorby Award for 2020. As a ferrous metallurgical scientist and as president of the Royal Microscopical Society, I consider myself privileged to follow in Dr Sorby’s footsteps.  In providing his seminal contribution to linking the properties of steels to their microstructures, Dr Sorby paved the way for the systematic approach of materials science and laid the foundations for the development of the many materials that are the basis of our modern world.  His recognition that microstructure controls the properties of steels is a mantra that is as valid today as when he first articulated it.”

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