William O. Philbrook (Deceased 1987)

In recognition of his contributions in the physical chemistry of iron and steelmaking and his role as an educator.

AIME Honorary Membership in 1986

William O. Philbrook was a pioneer in iron and steelmaking research. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Chicago, he was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University for more than 40 years.  He was employed by Wisconsin Steel works prior to his joining the faculty of CMU in 1945.  Professor Philbrook gained international recognition for his research on the thermodynamics and kinetics of iron and steelmaking processes publishing about 100 technical articles and book chapters.  A Registered Engineer in Pennsylvania, Professor Philbrook served as a consultant to corporations and law firms.  

Professor Philbrook was also a Distinguished Member of the Iron and Steel Society and a Fellow of The Metallurgical Society and the American Society for Metals.  He served on the Board of Directors of both TMS and AIME.  He was the 1971 Howe Memorial Lecturer and twice received, with co-authors, the Robert W. Hunt Award.  He was awarded the ASM Albert Easton White Distinguished Teacher Award in 1980.  He was also the recipient of the 1984 AIME Mineral Industry Education Award, the 1972 Extractive Metallurgy Division Science Award and the 1962 Charles H. Herty Jr. Award.  He was named Emeritus Professor of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science at Carnegie Mellon University in 1981.  In May 1987 Professor Philbrook was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Carnegie Mellon – the first posthumous doctorate given in CMU’s history.  In 1999 his family established the “Philbrook Prize” at CMU which is given annually to a faculty member in the Materials Science & Engineering Department “who has made substantial, sustained contributions to excellence in education, or to the application of materials science to important problems.”