Inamori School of Engineering

Conferences and Lectures - John F. McMahon Award Lecture

image of John F. McMahonJohn F. McMahon promoted relationships between industry and academe and advanced the education of ceramic engineers and artists during his tenure as Dean of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University from 1949 to 1965. He was alert to the relevance of research while he remained compassionate

For the 68 years that McMahon was associated with the College as a student, researcher, professor, division head, dean, curator and dean emeritus, he focused national attention on the College and heralded the importance of ceramic materials to society.

As a president of the American Ceramic Society and a founder of the Canadian Ceramic Society, Dean McMahon influenced ceramic engineering and education far beyond Alfred, New York. Honorary doctorates from Alfred University and Clemson University recognized his contributions to the field of ceramics throughout the world.

McMahon led the College to consider the vital needs of industry while maintaining a strong academic tradition of basic fundamental research and education. Long before others seriously considered ceramic materials for automobiles, John explored the idea with General Motors and saw promise of the use of ceramic materials in automobiles.

As a further tribute to one of the outstanding leaders of the New York State College of Ceramics, in 1987 Alfred University created the John F. McMahon Chair in Ceramic Engineering, to be filled by a notable ceramic engineer or scientist who exemplifies Dr. McMahon's ideals and who focuses national attention on the importance of ceramic materials and the role the New York State College of Ceramics plays in that field.

Dr. Richard M. Spriggs, Professor of Ceramic Engineering Emeritus, was appointed the first John F. McMahon Professor; Dr. James E. Shelby, Jr., held the position October 1997 - September 2008. Dr. William Carty is the current chair.