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Iver Anderson
November 9, 2023

Iver Anderson: 2023 Distinguished Achievement Award recipient

Written By: Staff


Iver Anderson
MSMetE ’77, PhDMetE ’82 (BSMetE ’75, Michigan Technological University)
Senior metallurgist, Ames National Laboratory, Iowa State University

Iver is an international authority and prolific technical innovator in powder metallurgy and metallic alloy design whose inventions are in use worldwide.

How did your experience in the College of Engineering influence your career path?

My graduate school career set up my way of thinking and approaching problems. That transition between undergrad and grad is critical to performing your duties in the professional world. I learned how to learn about a new technique, material or process in a short time just by reading the literature. My favorite spot in the engineering library was where the patents were. I’d take a study break, crack open one of those volumes, and read. That made me feel comfortable with the world of patenting, which prepared me for that part of my professional life.

Which engineering professor had the biggest impact on you?

I was John Perepezko’s first PhD student. I got my master’s with two advisors, John Perepezko and Carl Loper. Carl was a very practical guy with contacts in the casting industry, and John belonged very much in the higher levels of physical metallurgy. It was a fun mix in my master’s degree. John introduced me to a lot of my network now.

Describe some of the impacts you’ve had on society as a result of your contributions.

One societal problem is our throwaway economy and how electronic waste is processed. This contamination can go back into the soil and leach into the water. I feel very good that I could contribute with lead- free solder, in a way that makes a very broad impact. We also are making great strides in control of the powder quality that you produce in a gas atomizer. Alloys are expensive; we’re converting these expensive alloys into desirable powder. Additive manufacturing growth depends on the developments that we make in the atomization process and have transferred out to industry.

Of what professional accomplishments are you most proud?

My first job was five years at the Naval Research Lab. I was tasked with assembling a machine that was laying in pieces on a couple of pallets in a basement lab, and there were no instruction books. It was my first gas atomizer. So, the ability to build, from the ground up, an atomizer. That’s the kind of thing that I take pride in as an engineer. Then the ability to come up with that lead-free solder. That’s a science accomplishment. And then the ability to develop and commercialize a method for producing fine titanium powders is a process science accomplishment.

What do you like best?

Camp Randall, Kohl Center or the Fieldhouse?
I was a hockey fan and the Badgers played at the Dane County Coliseum. I had season tickets all the years I was in Madison. The ability to go down between periods and buy beer, and you just had a great time with your friends. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Sweet Caroline or Jump Around?
We used to do the Beer Barrel Polka during the fifth quarter in Camp Randall, until they did an analysis and said that we were setting up sympathetic vibrations that were going to cause the thing to fall apart. But Sweet Caroline … I have a fond spot in my heart, too.

Bascom Hill or Observatory Hill?
Bascom Hill. The Pail and Shovel Party filled the whole hillside with 60,000 pink flamingos. We also set up a ski school on the slope of Bascom Hill in celebration of Winter Carnival; very cool!