Michelle M. Pharand, ITF Chair
Vice President Sales & Marketing
Astral Air Parts LLC
Michelle M. Pharand is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Astral Air Parts LLC. Astral Air Parts is a manufacturer of aerospace fasteners and has been established since 1960. Previously, Michelle was director of sales and business development for Dynamet Inc., a subsidiary of Carpenter Technology Corp., Wyomissing, PA, which is an international supplier of titanium alloy products for the aerospace, medical, consumer and recreation industries.
Ms. Pharand will serve as the International Titanium Foundation Chair and she also serves as the WiT (Women in Titanium) Chair for the 2017-2018 term on behalf of the International Titanium Association.
Robert Hill, Jr., ITF Secretary
Solar Atmospheres of Western PA
Robert Hill Jr., President – Solar Atmospheres of Western PA, has over 30 years of metallurgical experience involving a wide range of heat treating methodologies. During the past ten years Bob has specialized in the development of large vacuum furnace technology and titanium processing capabilities for Solar Atmospheres.
In 2000, he took on the responsibility of starting Solar Atmospheres second plant located in Hermitage, PA. At this location there are twelve vacuum furnaces, including the world’s largest vacuum furnace, which is 36 feet long with a weight capacity of 150,000lbs. This 60,000 square foot facility primarily services the titanium industries that are used in the aerospace, medical, and power generation arenas throughout the world.
Bob has been a member of ASM since 1980. He has published numerous articles on vacuum technologies and vacuum heat treating applications and presented at the National ASM Heat Treating Conference, SME events, and at various local chapters throughout the country.
In 2000-2001, Bob served as the Chairman of the Philadelphia Liberty Bell Chapter of ASM and. co-chaired the 2003 and 2005 ASM Heat Treating Society Conference and Exposition. In 2009 Bob was bestowed the International Titanium Association Achievement Award and in 2010 was appointed to the ASM Board as Trustee. He received a B.S. from Millersville University and a degree in Metallurgy from Spring Garden College.
Donald E. Larsen, ITF Director
Vice President Technology and R&D, General Manager of Advanced Manufacturing
ALCOA Titanium & Engineered Products
Donald E. Larsen was named Vice President R&D and General Manager Advanced Manufacturing for Alcoa Titanium and Engineered Products (ATEP) effective August 2015. In this role, he is responsible for leading ATEP’s R&D activities, the Additive Manufacturing operation in Austin , Texas and Powder Operations in Burlington, Massachusetts . Don Larsen joined Alcoa in 1988 and has served in a number of roles focused on research and development of titanium products. Don also served in operational roles as well as sales and marketing. Most recently, Don served as Plant Manager at Alcoa’s titanium ingot operation in Whitehall, MI. Don has a master’s degree in metallurgical engineering from The Ohio State University and is the holder of 11 U.S. patents and has published over 30 technical articles in the field of titanium.
Alcoa’s aerospace businesses, including ATEP, will be a key component of Arconic following separation from Alcoa’s traditional commodity business later this year. Arconic is a global leader in precision engineering and advanced manufacturing. The company offers a wide range of multi-material solutions for high growth markets including aerospace structures, jet engines, automotive, transportation, and building and construction industries.
Dr. James Klausner, ITF Director
Professor, Chair of Mechanical Engineering
Michigan State University
James Klausner’s research interests focus on thermal, chemical, and fluid transport in a variety of applications including, energy, processing, thermal management, desalination, powder flow, cryogenics, and bioengineering. He has done extensive fundamental work on the dynamics of phase change phenomena, including nucleation and bubble dynamics. He is very interested in sustainable engineering processes and is currently working on using sunlight, water, recycled CO2, and biomass as possible inputs to thermochemical reactors for synthetic fuel production, such as hydrogen and higher order hydrocarbons as the output. Highly concentrated solar radiation is used to drive high temperature thermo-chemical conversion processes. He is also working on using low grade waste heat and un-concentrated solar energy for low temperature desalination. He has developed a number of phase-change thermal management processes that operate at unprecedented heat fluxes. He has a strong interest in light metals processing and energy efficient advanced manufacturing. He has nine patents and copyrights that resulted from his research work.
Prior to joining MSU, James Klausner was an Ebaugh Professor at the University of Florida and also served three years as a Program Director at the U.S. Department of Energy, ARPA-E. He is very active with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and served as Chair of the Heat Transfer Division.
Jennifer Simpson, ITF Executive Director
International Titanium Association
Jennifer Simpson serves as Executive Director of the International Titanium Foundation. Ms. Simpson is the Association Executive on behalf of the International Titanium Association and has specialized in not-for-profit management for almost 20 years.