LECO recently said farewell to our former Corporate Metallurgist, Dave Coulston. Anyone who worked with our metallographic experts in the past fifteen years undoubtedly got to experience his expertise. In honor of Dave's retirement, we welcomed him onto LECO's podcast: Measured Science.
Not much has changed in the world of metallurgical theories over the years, but Dave marveled at how much the improvement in technology changed the metallurgical world. While the theories remain the same, the capabilities of the instruments and lines of communication have sped everything up. Dave has some not-so-fond memories of needing to seek out permission from his boss before making a long-distance phone call, and even then, needing to keep it short! When the bulk of communication was done via written letters sent through the post, it could take weeks to walk through even the most basic troubleshooting. The advent of better phone systems, email, and video conferencing has allowed everything to speed up and become more clear.
"Metallurgists are dinosaurs," Dave admitted, acknowledging that most metallurgist programs have shifted into broader, material science programs. He sees the biggest coming advancement in metallurgical technology being the growth of artificial intelligence. Right now, a metallurgist needs to dredge up memories of their college classes to analyze the microstructure of a sample. Computers, Dave believed, will soon be able to learn the methodologies needed and become able to interpret microstructures without needing a human to be present.
Hear Dave's thoughts on this and more on LECO's podcast: Measured Science.