College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Exceptional contributions: Mufit Akinc and Ick-Jhin Rick Yoon inducted into MSE Hall of Fame

Ick-Jhin Rick Yoon and Mufit Akinc were inducted into the MSE Hall of Fame on Oct 13, 2023.

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering inducted two new members to the Materials Science and Engineering Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 13 – honoring both for outstanding achievement and contributions to the discipline.

“Today we recognize two individuals who have contributed significantly to this department, both internally and externally, said Dr. Thomas D. McGee and Dr. Ick-Jhin Rick Yoon Department Chair Chris Cornelius. “And I am so happy that we get a chance to celebrate their enormous contributions to Iowa State and the world.”

Mufit Akinc earned his Ph.D. in ceramic engineering at Iowa State in 1977 and spent much of his professional life in Ames in several different positions teaching the next-generation of materials engineers – and supporting faculty and staff in administrative leadership positions.

Akinc served as chair of the MSE department for 11 years, as interim dean of the college and as leader of the college’s international programs. He also contributed significant professional service to the field of materials science as the associate editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society as well as on the Board of Trustees for ASM International.

Akinc was a group leader at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames National Laboratory until his retirement when he became an emeritus professor. He is the author of more than 200 publications, inventor of seven patents, and has given over 90 invited talks around the world.

“What an honor,” Akinc said. “It really is a humbling experience to be recognized with the giants that are already honored in this Hall of Fame.”

Ick-Jhin Rick Yoon earned his master’s degree in ceramic engineering in 1972 and a doctorate in materials science and engineering in 1977 from Iowa State University.

As an entrepreneur, Yoon founded Southern California-based IJ (Intelligent Joining) Research, Inc., a manufacturing company of electrical feedthroughs and opto-electronic windows along with various ceramic to metal seals, bonds and packages. Yoon successfully exited the company after it was acquired by St. Albans, Vermont-based Superior Technical Ceramics in 2020.

“It is a great honor to be inducted and be celebrated,” Yoon said. “I have to thank Iowa State and I feel like I am incredibly lucky for my experiences here.”

Yoon and his wife Hyohi Sandy Yoon, in 2021, provided a $2 million gift to establish the Dr. Thomas D. McGee and Dr. Ick-Jhin Rick Yoon Department Chair in Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University. The endowed chair honors McGee, professor emeritus, who has been a presence and staple of the university for more than 70 years.