Industry Leaders Honored With Awards

Every year, the American Foundry Society recognizes several members of the metalcasting community for their accomplishments and contributions to the industry. The awards celebrate lifetimes of service, impactful research, volunteer leadership, and innovation.

Gold Medals

The AFS Board of Awards is presenting the metalcasting industry’s top honor, the Gold Medal Award, to Dennis Dotson, chairman, Dotson Iron Castings (Mankato, Minnesota); Dr. Kumar Sadayappan, senior research scientist, CanmetMATERIALS (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada); and Theodore Schorn, vice president, quality and technology, Enkei America Inc. (Columbus, Indiana). Typically presented at the annual Metalcasting Congress, this year's Gold Medals will be given during the 2020 Foundry Leadership Summit, September 20-22, Lake Tahoe, California. 

Dotson receives the Peter L. Simpson Gold Medal for outstanding contributions in promoting public esteem or service which reflects credit on the metalcasting industry. Dotson is a past AFS president and board member and served on the board of the Cast Metals Institute. He has presented at numerous foundry conferences and was the Hoyt Memorial Lecturer in 2011. His lifetime service to the industry has focused on developing an engaged and empowered workforce.

Sadayappan receives the John A. Penton Gold Medal for outstanding technical, engineering or managerial contributions to the non-ferrous sector of the industry. Sadayappan has expertise in nonferrous metallurgy and alloy development among the major metalcasting processes. He’s participated in various important research projects and his activities have earned him the AFS Howard Taylor Award twice, two AFS Technology Transfer Award, and the AFS Award of Scientific Merit.

Schorn receives the Thomas W. Pangborn Gold Medal for outstanding contributions in education and sharing of knowledge within the industry. Schorn is a highly respected voice in the industry, delivering many powerful speeches at various metalcasting conferences and collaborating with other AFS division volunteers. He also wrote the book “Improving the Effectiveness of Visual Inspection," which was turned into a comprehensive AFS Institute course. Schorn delivered the Hoyt Memorial Lecture in 2005 and was awarded the AFS Scientific Merit in 2008.

Awards of Scientific Merit

Two individuals are recognized with the Award of Scientific Merit. Cathrine Hartung, senior research and development engineer, Elkem Foundry Products (Kristiansand, Norway), is recognized for scientific merit and technical excellence in the areas of cast iron molten metal processing, graphite shape, usage of rare earth elements, and other advanced topics relating to casting quality. Dr. John Campbell, professor of casting technology, Campbell Technology Ltd. (Herefordshire, U.K.), is recognized for his knowledge, experience, and determination to move beyond the traditional methods of creating castings.  From the development of the Cosworth, Baxi, and Alotech casting processes, to his books and lectures, his work has changed the face of the metalcasting industry.

Service Citations

The society has recognized two individuals with the AFS Service Citation. Dr. Sam Ramrattan, Professor, Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, Michigan), is recognized for his numerous papers and presentations on both the core and green sand systems and his strong participation in technical committees, numerous articles in Modern Casting and presentations both at local Chapter and national levels at AFS Metalcasting Congresses. Jeff Sorenson, technical director, Lee Brass Co. (Anniston, Alabama), is recognized for his commitment and dedication to the copper casting industry, AFS, and metalcasting education through the AFS Institute.

Applied Research, Witt, and Taylor Awards

The AFS Applied Research Award, which is given to the principal investigators of AFS-funded research projects and the companies that collaborate with them to transfer research to the industry, was presented to Lynn Ferguson, Dante Solutions Inc., for AFS Project 16-17#03, Prediction and Control of Distortion in Permanent Molds.

The Ray H. Witt Management Award recognizes the authors of an AFS Metalcasting Congress management or marketing paper that exhibits the greatest potential to have positive long-range significance to the metalcasting industry in the area of marketing and management. This year’s Witt Award went to the paper “Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) Tools for High Performance Cast Aluminum Component Development,” (17-017), written by Quigui Wang, Peggy Jones, Yucong Wang, and Dale Gerard, General Motors.

AFS’s Howard F. Taylor Award was established to recognize a paper presented at the annual Metalcasting Congress that has the greatest long-range technical significance in the field of cast metals technology. There are two Taylor Award-winners this year:

  • “Structure of Spheroidal Graphite Nuclei and Spheroidizing Mechanism of Graphite in Mg-Treated Ductile Iron,” (19-087) by Jingjing Qing and Mingzhi Xu, Georgia Southern University.
  • “Evaluation of a New High Temperature Cast Aluminum Alloy for Cylinder Head Applications,” 18-064) by Qigui Wang and Devin Hess, General Motors, and Xinyan Yan and Francis Caron, Alcoa USA.


This spring marks the transition to a new AFS president. On April 20, Michael L. Lenahan, CEO, KB Foundry Services, assumed the role of AFS President from Immediate Past President Peter Reich, co-owner, Laempe Reich. Jim Frost, director quality systems and compliance, AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company, assumed the role of AFS Vice President, and Adam San Solo, director of sales and engineering, U S Foundry & Manufacturing Co., is now the AFS 2nd Vice President.
AFS also welcomed a new class of directors and thanked the graduating class for their service. This included Greg Loving, Rochester Metal Products Corp.;  Jason McGowan, D&L Foundry Inc.; Russ Rosmait, Pittsburg State University; and Scott Strobl, Simpson Technologies Corporation. 

Click here to see the article and more award winners in the May 2020 digital edition.