Plenary Speakers

Marek Darecki
President, General Director WSK Rzeszów, President, Pratt &Whitney Poland President, Aviation Valley Association

„New era of Polish industry – transformation of aerospace”

Marek Darecki graduated from the Technical University in Rzeszów, Faculty of Aviation - turbine engines. After university, his military service was in the Air Force, finishing as Lieutenant. His career at WSK Rzeszów began in 1978 in the Engineering Office, first as a Designer then as Turbine Department Manager. Then he moved to Operations to lead the Engine Assembly and Test Shop, after 2 years becoming Manager, Business Development Department. During that time of big economic changes in Poland, he was responsible for restructuring the company and strategic marketing. After 3 years he was promoted to his first executive position of Director for Operations, responsible for production, quality and technology. He left WSK Rzeszów in 1998 to join Goodrich Poland as President, General Manager. Over 4 years, he conducted a thorough restructuring of the company, considerably increasing its sales and profits. In 2002, Marek Darecki returned to the just privatized WSK Rzeszów, taking the position of President, General Manager. The company is owned by Pratt & Whitney part of the United Technologies Corporation. During the 13 years following privatization, the company went through very intensive and deep restructuring, becoming a world-class aircraft-engine producer with growing capabilities in R&D. In 2003, Marek Darecki initiated the innovative concept of the Aviation Valley cluster, gathering more than 100 aerospace companies, located in South-East Poland. Under his leadership, Aviation Valley has managed to significantly improve the local business environment and has become well recognized, both in Poland and in Europe. In July 2008, Marek Darecki was nominated President of Pratt & Whitney Poland, taking responsibility for all of the company’s activities in Poland. He is the Chairman of the Association of Polish Aerospace Industry. In 2011, he was invited by the European Commission to join a group of 14 Top European Aerospace Leaders, to build a long-term vision for the aviation industry, named Flightpath 2050. In 2012 he was nominated an Honorary Citizen of Rzeszów.

Ke Lu
Director of Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, China

„Can property trade-offs in materials be broken via nanostructuring?”

Prof. K. Lu received his Bachelor degree in 1985 from Nanjing University of Science & Technology and his PhD in 1990 from Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was a visiting professor in the Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung (Stuttgart, Germany) and in the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA). He is currently a professor and the founding director of Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science (SYNL). His research focuses on nanostructures in metals and alloys including nano-grained, nano-twinned, nano-laminated, nano-granular, and gradient nano-grained structures. Research activities cover synthesis and processing, nanostructure characterization, thermal stability and phase transformation, mechanical and physical properties of nanostructured materials. He authored and co-authored more than 360 international peer-reviewed journal publications, holds 30 patents, and presented over 80 invited lectures at international conferences and symposia. He is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a member of German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Awards and honours he has received include International Citation Impact Award (Thomson Reuters, 2014), Humboldt Research Award (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, 2011), Kelly Lecturer (University of Cambridge, UK, 2010), Fellow of MRS (USA, 2010), THERMEC Distinguished Award (Canada, 2006) and many others. He is currently an editor of Progress in Materials Science (Elsevier) and a reviewing editor of Science (AAAS).

Antoni Tomsia
Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

„Bioinspired materials and how they will change our lives”

Tony Tomsia is a Senior Scientist in the Materials Sciences Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). A native of Poland, he joined Berkeley Lab in 1978, and assumed his present position in 1988. Tomsia has published more than 200 papers in the fields of biomaterials, ceramic-metal joining, and the physics of solid-liquid interfaces in leading scientific journals such as Science and Nature Materials. A Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, Tomsia has also won numerous awards, including a Humboldt Research Award for senior U.S. scientists, an MRS International Union Award for International Collaboration, and in 2006, the Scientific American 50 Award, granted by Scientific American magazine to the top-50 U. S. technology leaders of the year. During the last 10 years, Tomsia has served on more than 100 NIH Study Sections and has been a member of the College of CSR Reviewers at NIH.

Patrice Turchi
Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory President (2015) of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS)

„What are ‘first-principles’ methodologies good for?”

Patrice Turchi received a Diploma of Engineer in Chemistry from the National Superior School of Chemistry of Paris (ENSCP) in 1975, earned a Thèse de Docteur Ingénieur in Materials Science in 1980 and a Thèse d’Etat in Condensed Matter Physics in 1984, both from the University of Paris VI. He taught at the University of Paris VI for 11 years, spent a sabbatical year at U.C. Berkeley, and since 1986 has been at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he is the Advanced Metallurgical Science and Engineering group leader in the Materials Science Division of the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate. His scientific fields of interest span from theoretical condensed matter physics to quantum information science and computational materials science. His research has focused on electronic structure-based approaches to statics, kinetics, and dynamics of alloy phase transformations. In this century his main focus has been on the basic science of actinide and rare earth based materials, alloys for fusion energy, and rapid solidification. He has authored over 290 publications, including more than 50 LLNL technical reports, 3 book chapters, and over 160 presentations and 170 invited talks (including keynote addresses) at scientific meetings and research institutions. He has also edited 21 technical books and proceedings, and has 2 U.S. patents. He had several awards, from DOE, NATO, STLE, and LLNL. He is the co-founder of the International Alloy Conference (IAC) dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the properties of complex inorganic solids, and organized 18 symposia, 6 international conferences, 2 NATO-ASI and 1 NATO-ARW.

Alan Windle
Emeritus Professor of Materials Science, University of Cambridge, UK

„Carbon nanotube materials: a new sort of stuff?”

Alan Windle’s research career has spanned metallurgy, polymers and nanotechnology. He is Emeritus Professor of Materials Science at Cambridge University, and is driving forward research into materials based on carbon nanotubes. He was awarded the Bessemer Medal and the Royal Society of Arts Silver Medal in 1963, the Rosenhain Medal in 1987, the Swinburne Medal and Prize in 1992 and the Founder’s Medal and Prize of the Polymer Physics Group of the Institute of Physics in 2007. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (London) in 1997. He was a founder of Cambridge Molecular Design, a materials software company, and of the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis at Cambridge. He was Executive Director of the Cambridge-MIT Institute during its formative years, and has been a Commissioner for the Royal Commission for the 1851 Exhibition, the Director of the Pfizer Institute for Pharmaceutical Materials Science at Cambridge and the Chairman of the Board of Q-Flo, a company designed to exploit innovations in materials nanotechnology.


Please note that the speakers in the plenary sessions will also include the 2015 FEMD Awards winners.