Four Faculty Earn TMS Honors

UF MSE TMS Award Winners
(L to R) Cammy Abernathy, Ph.D., Assel Aitkaliyeva, Ph.D., Tori Miller, Ph.D., Michael Tonks, Ph.D.


We are proud to announce that four members of our department recently received awards from The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS): 


Cammy Abernathy, Ph.D., dean, Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering: Ellen Swallow Richards Diversity Award

This honor, inspired by Ellen H. Swallow Richards, recognizes an individual who has helped or inspired others to overcome personal, professional, educational, cultural, or institutional adversity to pursue a career in minerals, metals, and/or materials.  

“Dean Abernathy has been the guiding light to so many individuals, including myself. Her visionary leadership, gravitas and compassion have personally inspired numerous people,” said Michele Manuel, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering. “I can only hope to inspire others and make personal sacrifices in the ways she continues to do, and I cannot think of a more deserving candidate for the Ellen Swallows Richards Diversity Award than Dean Cammy R. Abernathy.” – Michele Manuel, Ph.D., chair, Department of Materials Science & Engineering.

Assel Aitkaliyeva, Ph.D., assistant professor: 2022 TMS SMD Young Leaders Professional Development Award

This award was created to enhance the professional development of dynamic young people from TMS’ five technical divisions by helping them participate in Society activities, become better acquainted, make important contacts with TMS leaders, and network with prominent Society members.

“TMS has played a big role in my scientific career. Attending TMS meetings has always provided me with opportunities to network, learn more about progress made in the field, develop successful collaborations, and share my research while serving on various committees helped me find my voice and identify the topics I am most passionate about. I look forward to contributing to the TMS mission in the future and sharing my experience with my students.” – Assel Aitkaliyeva, Ph.D.

Tori Miller, Ph.D., assistant professor: Young Leaders International Scholar – JIM Award

The Japan Institute of Metals and Materials (JIM) and the Federation of European Materials Societies (FEMS) established joint Young Leaders International Scholar Programs with TMS to promote young member activities and strengthen the collaborations between TMS and these two international societies. These collaborations have resulted in exchange programs, which offer select young members the opportunity to present papers at international sessions.

“I think of the TMS society as my professional home, so I’m honored and excited to represent the organization internationally at the JIM meeting.” – Tori Miller, Ph.D.

Michael Tonks, Ph.D., professor: 2022 Brimacombe Medalist

The Brimacombe Medalist Award recognizes outstanding mid-career scientists who have demonstrated sustained excellence and achievement in business, technology, education, public policy, or science related to materials science and engineering. TMS recognized Dr. Tonks for his significant contributions in computational materials science approaches as applied to materials under extreme environments.

“TMS is a great society and my membership in it has truly enriched my career. I am honored and humbled to be recognized by them with this award.” – Michael Tonks, Ph.D.

“Dr. Tonks is an invaluable asset to both the materials science and the nuclear engineering segments of our department, and his impact and contributions in the field of mesoscale modeling are unmatched and have rightly become the industry standard. Dr. Tonks’ selection as a TMS Brimacombe Medalist and its accompanying recognition is well-deserved.”  – Michele Manuel, Ph.D., chair, Department of Materials Science & Engineering.