Harvey W. Schadler

For his outstanding technical leadership in industry and his contributions to the science and technology of materials, the Schools of Engineering are proud to present the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award to Harvey W. Schadler.

Manager, Materials Research Center
General Electric Research and Development Center
PhD '57


Having earned a bachelor's degree from Cornell and a doctoral degree from Purdue in metallurgical engineering, Dr. Schadler began his career with General Electric in 1957. He worked as a metallurgist for seven years, moving into technical administration and management in 1964.

Since 1973 Dr. Schadler has managed GE's Materials Research Center. Under his leadership, the center has made possible successful and important innovations in the use and processing of metals. Two such innovations are the development of the amorphous metal transformer-a breakthrough in improving the efficiency of electricity distribution-and the adaptation of the plasma-spray technique to vacuum use in the application of corrosion-resistant coatings to turbine blades.

Dr. Schadler's own technical achievements include his co-producing the first major interpretation and compilation of microstructure-property relation-ships in superconductors. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1991.

  • "Coming from an Ivy League school, what I found at Purdue was an intimate teaching method toward graduate students. I received a very excellent education in terms of the time the faculty spent with students, whether in smaller or larger classes."

  • "In-depth specialization is necessary in engineering, but the real need is for people who can think broadly and who can integrate across the disciplines-to think about the whole problem and not just contribute to the narrow field in which they were trained. You can't just stick to your own thing and make a contribution."

Advice for engineering students:

"Work hard and learn all you can. Whatever you choose to do, dedicate yourself to it, involve yourself in it fully, and make sure that you keep a broad perspective on what is going on in the world."