Alan Taub Joins UM MSE as Professor
The MSE department welcomes Alan Taub, who has joined the faculty as Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.
Taub will pursue research in advanced materials and processing and lead an initiative to establish a new center within the U-M College of Engineering. The center will focus on advanced manufacturing of lightweight material structures for automotive and aerospace applications.
When Taub earned his doctoral degree in applied physics from Harvard in 1979, his plan was to gain five years of industry experience and return to academia to teach. That same year Taub joined GE Corporate Research and Development where he performed research on magnetic and superconducting materials for electrical distribution and medical applications as well as high-temperature alloys for turbines.1 He earned 26 patents and authored more than 60 journal articles on that work before moving into research management and leading the Materials and Processing Laboratory.
From GE, Taub moved to Ford Motor Company’s Research Laboratory, where he led the Materials Science Department and then moved into Product Engineering. In 2001, he joined General Motors Research and Development to serve as executive director. In 2009 he was named GM's vice president of Global Research and Development, leading advanced research being conducted in seven laboratories worldwide.
The planned five years in industry turned into 30, but Taub stayed close to academia all along. At GM, he established nine GM - university collaborative research laboratories, three of which are at U-M, and increased academic funding more than ten-fold. He also served on several academic advisory boards, including the U-M Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Board, and was a senior lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Taub's management experience will serve him well as he establishes the new advanced manufacturing center. "Identifying opportunities, setting strategies, pulling together a team--that's a role I feel very comfortable in," he said.
Taub also is excited to get back to the laboratory, where his research will center on structure-property relationships, specifically structural, mechanical and magnetic properties and related processing technologies.2, 3 "There are techniques today to characterize materials that are so advanced. I'm an experimentalist, and we used to say, 'If only we could measure that…' Now, we can."
1. Taub, AI and Fleischer, RL. Science, 243, 616-622 (1989).
2. Ginley, DS and Robinson, AL. MRS Bulletin, 37, 196-203 (2012).
3. Taub, AI; Krajewski, PE; Luo, AA; Owens, JN. JOM Journal of Metals, 48-57 (2007).