Dr. Osman T. Inal, 1940-2010
“Dr. Inal was not only a superb teacher and an outstanding researcher, but he was also a close personal friend,” university president Dr. Daniel H. López said. “The entire New Mexico Tech community is saddened by his death and he will be sorely missed.”
Dr. Osman T. Inal
1940 - 2010
Dr. Inal joined the faculty at Tech in 1972 as an associate professor of materials engineering and earned full professorship in 1980. He added the titles of Associate Vice President and Dean of Engineering in 2001. He also served as department chairman for more than 15 years.
He was a prolific researcher, with more than 230 publications to his credit as author or co-author. He advised 40 master’s students and 18 doctoral students during his time at Tech.
“Osman’s enthusiasm for working with students and guiding them from undergraduate through post-graduate work was unmatched,” López said. “His dedication not only to students, but to this institution was total, deep and unabiding. Our farewells go to our great friend.”
A native of
Osman Tugay Inal was born on Leap Day, February 29, 1940, in
Dr. Inal earned his first bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the
“Dr. Inal’s profession and career at New Mexico Tech was a huge part of his life,” said his fellow professor in materials Dr. Paul Fuierer. “His unique personality is legendary among students. As long-time chair of the Materials Engineering Department, Osman’s legacy will last for years to come.”
Dr. Inal’s specialties included explosive welding and forming, polycrystalline intermetallics, plasma and laser surface modification and the development of reactive solders and braze alloys.
Another colleague at Tech, Dr. Deidre Hirschfeld, said Dr. Inal cared deeply about his students’ success and that he lived to teach. He was teaching classes this semester and planned on teaching classes again next semester, she said.
“He was a strong promoter of New Mexico Tech and an excellent recruiter,” she said. “Everyone knew of Dr. Inal’s cantankerous personality, but he did a lot for materials engineering at New Mexico Tech and he did a lot for New Mexico Tech in general.”
Dr. Inal and his wife always helped international students at Tech, welcoming them into their home and treating them like family.
“He was a deeply sensitive guy,” said Dr. Peter Gerity, vice president of academic affairs. “He and his family took in every international student who came to Tech. He gave selflessly to helping them financially and with culturalization to the
Over the years, Dr. Inal established a pipeline of Turkish students who came to Tech, including several of his nephews. He also was an effective recruiter domestically.
“He’s well known and had many friends throughout the
He was an active member in many professional and academic societies and regularly volunteered for service to New Mexico Tech, professional societies and government committees.
Dr. Inal won the university’s Distinguished Researcher Award at Tech in 1989. From the Alumni Association, he won the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2001 – the same year he was inducted as a Fellow in ASM International, the largest materials professional organization. Hirschfeld said Inal’s fellowship with ASM was an elite post and a crowning achievement for his career.
Dr. Gerity said Dr. Inal’s research is recognized and cited worldwide. He was continuously invited to deliver keynote addresses at international conferences throughout his career, he said.
Dr. López said, “As Adlai Stephenson said on the occasion of Dag Hammarskjöld’s death, ‘We will mourn his death until the time of ours’.”
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By Thomas Guengerich/