Paul F. Becher (1989)February 27, 2014
Metals and Ceramics Division
For basic studies in the fracture of and toughening mechanisms in ceramics and ceramic composites, in the establishment of the relationships between microstructure and composition and mechanical behavior, and in the development of advanced ceramic materials.
Paul F. Becher received his B.S. degree in 1963 and his M.S. degree in 1964, both in metallurgical engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla. He received his Ph.D. degree in ceramics engineering from North Carolina State University in 1970.
Dr. Becher leads the Structural Ceramics Group in the Metals and Ceramics Division. Prior to that he headed the Ceramic Processing Section in the Materials Science and Technology Division at the Naval Research Laboratory. His research activities have focused on the microstructural design of ceramics, including the structure and properties of interfaces, aimed at understanding toughening mechanisms and approaches to enhance the mechanical, optical, and thermal properties of ceramics, coatings, and composites. He is the author or coauthor of more than 200 technical publications on these topics.
Dr. Becher has received a number of awards; among these are the Purdy Publication Award and the Sosman Memorial Lectureship from the American Ceramic Society, the Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc., Inventor of the Year Award, and a U.S. Department of Energy Materials Sciences Division Research Award. In 1991, he received the Alexander Humboldt Foundation's Research Award for Senior Scientists, which allowed him to spend a sabbatical at the Max Planck Institute for Materials Research in Stuttgart, Germany. He is a fellow of the American Ceramic Society and currently serves as the 1998–99 president-elect. He was named a corporate fellow in 1989.