Dr. Mac Louthan

macintyre-louthanOrganization: Savannah River National Laboratory
Personal Biography: Mac is a retired Consulting Scientist in the Savannah River National Laboratory. He has forty years of experience in materials selection and qualification for advanced nuclear systems, failure analysis, applied and fundamental research, and teaching. Previous assignments have included: Professor of Materials Engineering, Manager of Metals and Ceramics Research Group, Adjunct Professor for ASM-International’s Materials Engineering Institute, consultant for industry, national laboratories and legal profession and Engineer/Scientist for Contractors to U. S. Department of Energy. Mac has published approximately 250 technical papers (many of which emphasize environmental degradation of engineering materials), edited nine books and given several hundred invited lectures throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. Mac developed a lecture-talk titled “Why Stuff Falls Apart”, to emphasize the importance of personal responsibility and ethics in professional activities. This lecture has been given several hundred times to high school, university, industry and professional groups and as a keynote address to the annual meetings of the Materials Research Society, the International Metallographic Society, ASM International and the Australian Institute of Metals. Mac continues to regularly present this talk to various DOE sites, the National Youth Science Camp, selected colleges and universities and to service and professional organizations.


Lecture Topic: “Why Stuff Falls Apart”
This humorous, motivational lecture discusses the six fundamental causes of failure of large engineered systems: deficiency in design, improper material selection, defects in materials, improper processing, errors in assembly, and improper service. The discussion demonstrates that these fundamental causes of failures in engineered systems can also be associated with human failures such as divorce, child abuse and managerial ineptitude. The similarities among failures in engineering systems and failures in modern society are also discussed. Frequently, the failures are associated with a compromise of personal ethics and morals brought on by greed and other societal influences.


Directed Study Topic: Introduction to Failure Analysis
We will work with common materials to examine fracture morphology and with domestic water piping that has failed.