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Trustee Night with Dr. Jason Sebastian: Materials Development from Genome to Flight

  • May 14, 2019
  • UMD Golf Course Club Room
  • College Park , MD , USA


The new ultra-high strength, high performance structural steel, Ferrium® M54™ is a stellar success story for Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME). The development of this alloy was sponsored under a U.S. Navy-funded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program with the goal of developing a cost competitive, drop-in replacement for AerMet®100 aerospace alloy. Development at Quektek started from a clean sheet design in 2007 with a variety of computational models. A precise chemical composition for M54 was achieved in less than one year, and the first 10-ton VIM/VAR ingot was produced the following year. An Aerospace Material Specification (AMS 6516) was issued two years later, and inclusion in the MMPDS handbook for A- and B- basis design minima was approved in December 2013. QuesTek coordinated the production and qualification of hook shank components made from M54 that were successfully flight tested in December 2014. Results and data for M54 will be presented from throughout the alloy development process, with a focus on the properties that distinguish it from legacy materials, many of which took 20 years or more to gain approval for flight systems. Highlights of recent M54 application and commercialization activities will also be presented.

Dr. Jason Sebastian is the President of QuesTek Innovations LLC. QuesTek Innovations is a small business in Evanston, IL focused on the computational design, development, and insertion of new alloys and materials using Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) methodologies. Sebastian also serves on the Board of Directors of QuesTek Europe AB (Stockholm, Sweden), a joint venture company formed by QuesTek Innovations LLC and Thermo-Calc Software AB that offers ICME modelling and materials design services to the European market. Sebastian is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he earned a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering and a B.A. in Philosophy. After a year of post-graduate study at Cambridge University, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University. At QuesTek, Sebastian is focused on overall company growth and management, and on the entire spectrum of commercial- and government-sponsored alloy modeling, development, and deployment activities. Since joining QuesTek in 2006, his technical activities have focused on: the development of high strength steels for structural and power transmission applications; precipitation-strengthened cobalt-based alloys; alloys for additive manufacturing; non-toxic, high-strength/low-friction copper-based alloys to replace lead-containing bronzes; a low-cost, castable titanium alloy; a highly-processable nickel-based superalloy; advanced soft magnetic alloys; and other computationally-designed alloys. Sebastian has been the author/co-author on numerous technical papers and publications, and he holds two patents. His ASM International service includes terms as Vice-Chair (2015-2016), Chair (2016-2017), and Membership Chair (2017-2018) of the Chicago Regional Chapter, and a term as the “District 13 Representative” on the Chapter Council (2017-2018).

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