SECAT’s Laboratory Certificate

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CAT and Secat share research equipment in the Secat building. On December 14, 2005, consistent with the mission of becoming the center for excellence in aluminum research and technology, Secat achieved ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Certification.

The Certification process evaluates “general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories” and provides the guidelines to establish and implement a quality management system.

By successfully implementing the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Quality Management System, it will ensure the repeatability and reproducibility of test results, adding confidence to data provided to customers. The certified, high quality data, which is used in product evaluation, research and development, helps to continuously improve product quality for the customer firms.

The Certification also broadens the range of customers both in the US and abroad, including the North American automotive industry. The auto industry requires their suppliers to be certified to QS-9000/TS-16949 or ISO 9000/17025. This ensures that all of their vendors maintain a Quality Management System, providing consistent product quality. The Quality Management Systems also instill confidence in the supplier’s capability to comply with customer specifications and guidelines.

All customers will benefit from this Certification, as procedures and systems are incorporated into all projects assuring increased consistency and repeatability of data.

Ningileri Named New Director of the Center for Aluminum Technology

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The Center for Aluminum Technology would like to welcome Shridas Ningileri as its new Director. Mr. Ningileri has a Master’s Degree in Technology-Metallurgy with specialization in Industrial Metallurgy from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He brings more than 25 years of experience in the foundry industry with expertise in all areas including Melting, Manufacturing, Quality Assurance and Customer Relations. Mr. Ningileri is a qualified auditor for ISO and QS 9000. He has been the Project Manager at Secat, Inc an aluminum research, development and testing organization over the past 7 years and has extensive knowledge of the aluminum industry along with its education and research needs. He is a member of TMS and as part of Secat has links to the Aluminum Association and related professional societies. He has extensive experience in the coordination and preparation of research proposals to obtain industrial, state and federal funding with industry and university partners.

Mr. Ningileri, as CAT director will be responsible for planning, implementing, co-coordinating and managing CAT’s program and activities. The CAT programs may involve funding from industrial, state and federal sources, and he will further develop collaborations with these entities, the national laboratories, and other universities.

Mr. Ningileri will continue to serve as Project Manager at Secat, Inc and will be the liaison and coordinator between CAT and Secat, Inc. Please join us in welcoming Mr. Ningileri.

UK Center for Aluminum Technology Awarded Kentucky DOE Contract

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The Kentucky Commerce Department, Office of Energy Policy, has awarded UK’s Center for Aluminum Technology (CAT) a two-year Research and Development contract to study “Advanced Scalable Clean Aluminum Melting Systems”.

This seed project will be devoted to developing natural gas fired immersion heaters for the aluminum melting furnaces to increase the thermal efficiency. With recycled aluminum meltables being the main source of material available for US’s fabrication industry (as primary production is leaving the US to low energy cost countries) and the cost of natural gas hovering at around $14 per million BTU, this project has great importance in lowering the cost of aluminum melting and recycling in the US. If successful, the results of this project can provide the basis for much larger development and demonstration phases with DOE at later stages.

UK Engineering Hall of Distinction inducts Alcoa’s Atkins

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One of the new inductees to the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Hall of Distinction has a strong connection to the aluminum industry.

Patrick R. Atkins, director of environmental affairs at Alcoa and a 1964 UK civil engineering graduate, was one of four new members inducted in ceremonies on campus April 7. Atkins, a former University of Texas professor who has been with Alcoa for more than 30 years, also holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in environmental engineering, both from Stanford University.

Atkins and Dr. Subodh K. Das, director of the Center for Aluminum Technology, were associates in the Alcoa Technology Center in Pittsburgh from 1974 to 1981, and have stayed in touch since.

Atkins “has made large contributions to the aluminum industry in this global economy by managing environmental stewardship,” Das said.

Alcoa has an ambitious environmental agenda called “2020 Vision,” in which the company has specific goals for measuring progress toward achieving, by 2020, a strategic plan for cleaner air, better use of land and water, and the protection of human health.

In December of 2005, Alcoa was recognized as a Top Green company by BusinessWeek magazine and the Climate Group. The designation is in recognition of Alcoa’s performance in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Alcoa has been recognized by BusinessWeek as a top company of the decade and for best management practices for its leadership on environmental issues while delivering strong financial performance.

‘Fabulous Five’ includes CAT’s Das

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Recognition at Rupp

Dr. Subodh K. Das, director of the Center for Aluminum Technology, is among five academic “stars” who were honored at the March 2 UK-Tennessee basketball game at Rupp Arena. The “Fabulous Five” were featured in a column by David Hawpe of the Courier-Journal.