The International Titanium Association (ITA) is committed to engaging young adults, understanding they will the ranks of future engineers, metallurgists and administrators in the titanium industry. The ITA understands that academia is where the future is found for the titanium metal industry.
ITA has established a foundation (ITF) to provide academic scholarships, underwrite academic poster sessions at annual TITANIUM conferences in Europe and the United States, and support research projects and other ITA programs. Companies or individuals may provide tax-free contributions to support the foundation’s initiatives. ITA Members have indicated the foundation will play an important part in the above-mentioned outreach to academia.
The specific purposes outlined for the International Titanium Foundation (ITF) are:
- To support students worldwide who exhibit interest in learning more about the relatively young titanium industry;
- To support teaching and education worldwide in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (“STEM”) related initiatives;
- To educate youth about the significance of titanium metals and the extensive uses of titanium alloys for purposes including, but not limited to, advanced materials selection and the markets where titanium metal is used;
- To provide academic scholarships and poster session opportunities to students interested in the titanium field to help them achieve their educational goals at the post-secondary level;
- To promote student research and development in the titanium field and equally promote consulting prospects on behalf of professors.
- To organize introductions with prospective employers in the titanium industry and assist in the organization of Co-operative Education or internship opportunities within the titanium industry.
- To collaborate with other charitable organizations whose missions and purposes is comparable.
Expanding student interaction within the ITA and increasing the interest in titanium research is a worthwhile and necessary goal. ITF, through its outreach efforts, needs to expand the number of students interested in titanium-related activities in order to attract new talent for the industry.
ITF, through continued support of donors and the ITA, will continue to enhance the annual TITANIUM conference series where manufacturing people and materials scientists can attend, mingle and focus on titanium. Future TITANIUM conferences will offer sessions with the goal of bringing the industry and academia together.
Starting in 2018, ITF will announce the creation of the Titanium Applications Development Research Award. Previously the TAD award was designated particularly for existing commercial applications but it will now serve as an award to recognize and promote research and academia. The TADR Award nominations will be collected and reviewed by specialists who will supply a neutral, objective review of the applications to recommend the annual award of $20,000.
Longer term goals of the ITF will include plans to propose a grant-funded project to the National Science Foundation to support student attendance at its annual TITANIUM conferences. ITF will seek NSF support to allow up to twenty (20) graduate level students from partner institutes of higher education to attend the conference at low-to-no cost. The overall goal of this project is to allow up to twenty (20) graduate level students to participate directly in the annual TITANIUM USA conference, including:
- Support for attending graduate students to participate in poster sessions and present their titanium industry relevant research to attending research leaders and titanium industry business leaders
- To allow graduate students to network with titanium industry business leaders to explore the potential for their pursuing research position opportunities within the titanium industry while they are in pursuit of their graduate degrees
- To educate supported graduate students in professional opportunities working with the titanium industry post-graduation
The ITF is seeking National Science Foundation funding specifically to support graduate students who are primarily first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented minorities within STEM the opportunity to attend this conference at low-to-no cost. The ITF, and more broadly the titanium industry, wishes to utilize support from the National Science Foundation to help reduce financial barriers that prevent the targeted graduate student population from being able to take full advantage of the professional and research opportunities available to them within the titanium industry.
Future ambitions of the ITF include a working consortium between ITA member companies and universities that have an interest in titanium that could allow industry to address the key challenges they face that they would like to have university researchers administer. Industry would have the ability to interact and get to know the professors and the students and in turn, the ITF/ITA could become a pipeline between academia and industry and industry would gain the success of growing the student base interested in titanium related activities.