News

MSE at NCSU Mourns the Loss of Professor Hans H. Stadelmaier

July 24th, 2012

Hans H. Stadelmaier, professor emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering at NC State University, died at his home in Raleigh on July 9th of 2012. He was born in Germany on November 14th of 1922 and spent his early childhood in Detroit, Michigan. Professor Stadelmaier was predeceased by his wife Gerda. He is survived by his daughters Christiane Stadelmaier of Boston and Barbara Stadelmaier and husband Michael Ecklund of Atlanta and son Michael Stadelmaier of Boston. His life was well lived, with excellence as a husband and father, with dedication to and passion for a long research career and with commitment to the well-being and advancement of his students, colleagues, department and university. The following is a summary of his sixty year career and contributions to the materials research efforts at North Carolina State University.

Professor Stadelmaier emigrated from Germany in 1952 to join the North Carolina State College Department of Engineering Research as a Research Associate. He arrived having earned his M.S. degree in Physics ((Diplom-Physiker) from the Technological Institute of Stuttgart. In 1956 he completed the Doctor of Science degree (Dr. rer.nat.), also from the Technological Institute of Stuttgart. Much of his graduate research was done at the Stuttgart-based Max-Planck-Institut f. Metallforschung. This relationship lasted throughout his career with many summers spent on research efforts and advising students at the Max-Planck-Institut f. Metallforschung. The emigration process for Professor Stadelmaier and his family extended over a period of almost 18 months and involved, based on documents from that period, the President of the Consolidated University of North Carolina, the Dean of Engineering, a Deputy Under Secretary of State, a United States Senator from North Carolina, the Office of the U. S. High Commissioner for Germany, the Chief of the Visa Division of the Department of State and the American Consulate General in Stuttgart. We are fortunate for Professor Stadelmaier's patience and perseverance.

He was appointed Research Associate Professor of Metallurgy in 1953 and was promoted to Research Professor of Metallurgy in 1959. Professor Stadelmaier was hired into the Department of Engineering Research with the charge to build metallurgy-focused basic research program. His offer letter in 1951 cited the department's excellent research facilities, which even included a transmission electron microscope! Professor Stadelmaier's research career focused on fundamental experimental and theoretical studies of microstructural relationships for complex crystallographic interstitial compounds (carbides, nitrides and borides) containing transition and non-transition metals.

Professor Stadelmaier was very active in his profession, being a member of the American Society for Metals (now ASM International), the German Metallurgical Society and TMS-AIME. In addition to serving on national level committees and annually attending conferences to present papers and chair technical sessions, in 1952 he co-founded the ASM Carolinas Chapter. In 1978 he was elected a Fellow of the American Society for Metals. He was a Distinguished Fellow of the German Metallurgical Society and a member of the Alpha Sigma Mu, Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi honor societies..

In 1971 the Department of Engineering Research became the Engineering Research Services Division and the previous focus on basic research was shifted to a combination of service plus basic research. Professor Stadelmaier's interactions with industry and government entities expanded and service was provided on numerous critical metals problems. The external service projects often came from major companies like Becton-Dickinson, Carolina Power and Light, Corning, IBM, National Bureau of Standards, North Carolina Attorney General's Office and Research Triangle Institute. Very complementary letters were often received for the value and quality of the analyses produced.

From early in his NCSU career until retirement Professor Stadelmaier developed and taught a number of mainly graduate-level courses including Advanced Physical Metallurgy, Theory and Structure of Materials, Structure of Crystalline Materials, Dislocation Theory and Modern Concepts in Materials Science. Beyond formal classroom teaching, he shared his crystallography, x-ray and electron microprobe expertise and facilities with many motivated students working on projects for other faculty. As an example, in the 1977-1978 academic yexar he trained students working on 12 projects with faculty from 10 different departments across campus. In 2006 Professor Stadelmaier was awarded the prestigious national-level ASM Albert Easton White Distinguished Teacher Award for "outstanding contributions to the understanding of interstitial compounds and permanent magnet materials and a lifetime of dedicated teaching in the classroom and the laboratory." This award, established in 1960, recognizes unusually long and devoted service in teaching as well as significant accomplishments in materials science and engineering, and an unusual ability to inspire and impart enthusiasm to students.

Professor Stadelmaier's research produced more than 200 archival journal papers and impacted important areas of technology, including the development of rare earth based high performance permanent magnets, for which he received three patents. In 1985 he was awarded the Alcoa Foundation Distinguished Engineering Research award. His work on magnetic materials continued until shortly before his death, with a single author review paper "Nd-Fe-B permanent magnets a quarter century later: Implications for patentability" published in 2009 in the International Journal of Materials Research and two Scripta Materilia publications in 2010.

Professor Stadelmaier, a founding member of Raleigh's Little German Band and Dancers, played accordion with the same enthusiasm and dedication he had for his research. He enjoyed over 40 years of camaraderie with the band. Professor Stadelmaier will be remembered by all for his wit, humor and dedication to work and family.


A memorial service celebrating the life of Hans and Gerda Stadelmaier will be held August 11 at 3:00pm at the NC State Univ McKimmon Center, 1101 Gorman St. Raleigh.

Reception following. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Hans may be made to the Hans Stadelmaier Scholarship Fund at NC State University College of Engineering.

Martin Baucom
Associate Executive Director of Development
NC State Engineering Foundation
Campus Box 7901
Raleigh NC 27695

North Carolina State University