Title: Metallurgical Engineer, Academic Administrator & Professor Emeritus
Company: Lehigh University
Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Alan Wiggins Pense, Ph.D., Metallurgical Engineer, Academic Administrator and Professor Emeritus at Lehigh University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in metallurgical engineering and higher education.
With more than 60 years of professional excellence to his credit, Dr. Pense is an esteemed educator in metallurgical and materials engineering, having most recently served as a professor at Lehigh University from 1971 to 1996, when he reached emeritus status. Remaining at the university for the duration of his career, he formerly served as vice president and provost from 1990 to 1996, dean from 1988 to 1990, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences from 1984 to 1988, chairman of the department of metallurgy and materials engineering from 1977 to 1983, associate professor from 1965 to 1971, assistant professor from 1962 to 1965, instructor from 1960 to 1962, and research assistant from 1957 to 1959.
Alongside his primary endeavors, Dr. Pense has been a research engineer for the National Research Council and consultant for Lehigh University since 1997. Previously, he was the associate director for the Center for Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems with the National Science Foundation from 1986 to 1989, a Danforth Fellow from 1974 to 1986, and a consultant for the advisory committee on reactor safeguards with the National Research Council from 1965 to 1986. Civically, he served on the board of trustees of the Evangelical Theological Seminary from 1970 to 2000 and on the board of trustees of the Lehigh Valley Christian High School from 2004 to 2012.
To prepare for his illustrious career, Dr. Pense pursued a formal education at Cornell University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in metallurgical engineering in 1957. He subsequently attended Lehigh University, receiving a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in 1959 and 1962, respectively. A contributor of more than 100 articles to professional journals, he was the co-author of the fourth edition of “Structure and Properties of Engineering Materials,” published in 2001. In addition, he was the co-author of the funding proposal that led to the establishment of the Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems Center in 1986, where researchers conduct research into the design and materials used in bridges and other large structures. Dr. Pense is renowned for his work with stressed and fatigued bridges, having inspected numerous flawed and failed bridges, such as the Liberty Bridge and I-79 Bridge in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1979 and the second Silver Bridge in West Virginia in 1985.
To remain aware of developments within the industry, Dr. Pense has maintained affiliation with several organizations in his area of expertise. He was an Adams Lecturer and Plummer Lecturer with the American Welding Society in 1980 and 1995, respectively. Likewise, he was a member of ASTM International, the Bridge Engineering Association, the American Society for Engineering Education, and the International Institute of Welding. Notably, he is a fellow of the American Society of Metals and the American Welding Society.
As a testament to his professional success, Dr. Pense has accrued several accolades throughout his impressive career. The recipient of the Bridge Engineering Research Award from the Bridge Engineering Association in 2009 and the Materials Science and Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002, he also received the Hillman Award in 1997, the Western Electrical Award from the American Society for Engineering Education in 1986, and the William Hobart Medal from the American Welding Society in 1982. Likewise, Lehigh University honored him with the Stabler Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1972 and the Alfred Noble Robinson Faculty Award in 1965. The American Welding Society further presented him with the Jennings Award in 1970, the Adams Memorial Membership Award in 1966, and the William Spraragan Award in 1963. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1993. Dr. Pense has been highlighted in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Science and Engineering, Who’s Who in the East, and Who’s Who in the World.
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