The latest issue of What on Earth, the annual research report for the University of Utah’s College of Mines and Earth Sciences, is now out and includes fascinating stories about research projects by faculty members in the Department of Metallurgical Engineering. The department is now part of the College of Engineering in addition to Mines and Earth Sciences in a new merger that occurred earlier this year.

Included in this year’s issue is a story on metallurgical engineering professor Raj Rajamani, who has developed a new method for sorting tiny pieces of scrap that were previously unsortable — red bits of copper, yellow flakes of brass and gray pieces of aluminum.

There is also a profile on the work of metallurgical engineering assistant professor Krista Carlson and metallurgical engineering chair Michael Simpson, who have developed a method to convert nuclear waste into ceramic blocks for safer storage.

And there is a feature on metallurgical engineering Distinguished Professor Hong Yong Sohn, who is developing a method to dramatically reduce steelmaking’s pollution and energy consumption.

Last summer, the University of Utah’s departments of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Metallurgical Engineering (MET E) merged into a single academic department administered jointly by the U’s College of Engineering and College of Mines and Earth Sciences.

The motivation for this merger was to create one of the best departments of materials science and engineering in the country. The new academic unit, called the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, will have strengths in metals, ceramics, polymers, electrochemistry, nanotechnology, biocompatible materials, semiconductors, hydro-, electro- and pyrometallurgy, and mineral processing.

Click here to read the new issue of What on Earth.