Alan Druschitz, associate professor of practice of materials science and engineering and director of the Virginia Tech Foundry Institute for Research and Education in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been named the Thomas G. Digges and Thomas G. Digges Jr. Faculty Fellow by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. 

The Thomas G. Digges and Thomas G. Digges Jr. Faculty Fellowship in Materials Science and Engineering was established through a gift from the estate of alumnus Robert H. Digges. The fellowship recognizes teaching and research excellence, and recipients hold the fellowship for two years.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 2011, Druschitz is considered an international expert in metal casting and corrosion. He has published more than 80 papers, organized many symposia, and recently received a $500,000 research contract to study metal-ceramic composite castings.

As director of the Virginia Tech Foundry Institute for Research and Education, Druschitz oversees the hands-on learning environment utilized by academic programs, senior design teams, engineering teams, undergraduate and graduate research, student societies, and outreach programs.

Under his leadership, Virginia Tech has gained national recognition as one of 20 Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF) certified schools. In the past two years, 10 Virginia Tech students attended the FEF College Industry Conference and four of these students were awarded national scholarships worth $9,000. Students participating in the Virginia Tech metal casting program have been awarded $83,750 in scholarships.

Since 2016, one of Druschitz’s senior design teams was awarded first place in the FEF/American Foundry Society Student Technology Contest, and three teams presented and published their projects at professional conferences.

Druschitz and his students also devote considerable time to outreach activities that introduce students, prospective students, and the local community to metal casting. In the past two years, these activities have reached more than 1,500 people and continue to grow.

Druschitz received his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago.