Ludo Froyen, Professor Materials Engineering of the Faculty of Engineering Science at the KU Leuven, Belgium

Ludo Froyen is professor in Materials engineering (Department Materials Engineering) and former dean of the Faculty of Engineering Science at the KU Leuven, Belgium.

His research is in the field of development of new metallic materials and material systems, through innovative physical material science principals and creative process techniques. The concept cycle from new material to an industrially usable product is being approached in an integrated way: starting from the physical principals for the building of a microstructure (e.g. microstructural control in dispersion strengthened materials or of metal matrix composites) over the suitable process technique (often original techniques) to the complete characterisation of the manufactured material through advanced material characterisation techniques. This approach is applied on a broad range of considered materials and material systems. Investigated specific processing techniques are controlled solidification processes (e.g. directional solidification),innovative powder metallurgical techniques (e.g. mechanical alloying and synthesis, selective laser sintering and selective laser melting (additive manufacturing), combustion synthesis.

This research has both an extended basic scientific component (e.g. gain insight in complex solidification structure of multicomponent multiphase systems, reactive synthesis through combustion synthesis) as a clear application driven component (e.g. lightweight connecting rod for a car motor, components for high temperature turbines, matrix material for diamond-tools, …). This has led to some patents, together with industrial partners and black box know how for companies. He (co)authored more than 300 peer reviewed papers.

Within the research on solidification of complex alloys there has been success in the use of the micro gravity environment on board the manned and unmanned spacecrafts like Texus-, Maser- and Maxus rockets, Spacelab, Spacehab, MIR, International Space Station. Most research has been carried out from the start in an international context and with multi-disciplinary teams.

He is also closely involved the training of material science engineers and of academic engineers in general as program director of the Material Engineering education (1998-2002), programme director at the Engineering Science Faculty (2002-2005), vice-dean (2002-2005) and dean of the Faculty of Engineering Science (2005-2012). He participated at several local and EU education related projects such as Design, AQCA, ATTRACT, FOLLOW, SUMUP. He is chairman of the Ethical Commission Dual Use, Military use and Misuse and member of the Commission on Research Integrity.

He was treasurer of FEMS (Federation of European Materials Societies) from 2011 to 2017 and member of several professional, scientific and educational organisations e.g. SEFI (European Society for Engineering Education), CLUSTER (Consortium Linking Universities of Science and Technology for Education and Research), CESAER (Conference of European Schools for advanced engineering education and research), EPMA (European Powder Metallurgy Association), …