Back on duty at the Exhibit booth of the Center for Powder Metallurgy Technology during POWDERMET2016 in Boston after being presented with the MPIF's most prestigious personal award, the Kempton H. Roll PM Lifetime Achievement Award, William (Bill) Jandeska was as genial as ever in agreeing to be interviewed for this profile article.

Chicago-born William Jandeska didn’t need to be introduced to metallurgy, as his father worked at US Steel Corporation, so that when he went to study at University of Illinois-Urbana, he spent five summers as an intern at US Steel working in various areas of steel production. After completing his BS and MS degrees in metallurgical engineering, Jandeska went on to do a PhD with support from Caterpillar Tractor and spent the summers working at Caterpillar's research center in Mossville, Illinois. After finishing his PhD in 1971, he took up a post at General Motors Research Center in Warren, Michigan, and ended up spending the rest of his career with GM.

MPR: How did you become involved with PM?
I got into PM through my early years at GM Research, where I started off with super-alloys for a gas turbine project. I then migrated into ceramics, which of course were powders. From that I got involved in the need for small, strong [electric] motors and the magnetics area, with samarium-cobalt super-magnets. Then there was the gasoline crisis in the seventies, and the need to reduce the sintering temperatures for [GM's] Delco Remy furnaces, and actually that was my real start in PM. I had several patents in that area, and from there my interest kept on growing. I got involved with MPIF/APMI in 1984 when I gave a paper at the Toronto Conference and in 1986 was appointed to join the MPIF Technical Board.

MPR: How did your career progress, job-by-job?
As indicated, I worked on a variety of projects at GM Research and in 1986 started the PM Creativity Team with Purchasing. After spending 20 years at GM Research, I then transferred to the GM Powertrain headquarters. I was on the advisory team for the launching of the powder-forged connecting rod in 1992 and I worked with Zenith on the PM bearing cap, and it just went on from there. I stayed with the Powertrain Group until I retired from GM in 2006.

MPR: And since then you have been an independent consultant?
Yes [as President of Midwest Metallurgical Ltd]. Also, since the late 1980s, I have been involved with the MPIF's Center for Powder Metallurgy Technology (CPMT), initially working with Arlan Clayton when the CPMT was being launched, later as president in 2000–2002, and then when Howard Sanderow passed away, I took over as Project Manager.

MPR: What has been your involvement with professional societies?
Earlier in my career, I was heavily involved with the Detroit Chapter of ASM International, and received the Young Member of the Year Award in 1976, and was elected Fellow of ASM International in 1993. I also served on the SAE PM committee and received the McFarland Award in 1993, but it has been mostly MPIF/APMI since the 1980s. For example, I served as program co-chair for the 1989 PM Conference and also for the 2002 World Congress on PM and Particulate Materials.

This article appeared in the Sept/Oct issue of Metal Powder Report.

Download now