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ITA Seeking Nominations for the Titanium Applications Development Award

Dunnett Classic Drums,
Ronn Dunnett, of Dunnett Classic Drums, was the 2016 TAD award winner for his unique use of titanium metal in designing Dunnett Classic Titanium snare drums, a drum tuning device and a bass drum pedal.

The International Titanium Association (ITA) is seeking nominations for an individual, group of individuals, or organization within the titanium industry who has shown significant achievement towards improving and expanding the use of titanium. The Titanium Applications Development (TAD) Award (non members will have to register) is intended to distinguish and remunerate commendable work in an area too little rewarded as well as potentially help support the continued development of the application.

Now in its 12th anniversary year, the TAD Award is collecting applications for the $20,000 prize which will be presented to the winner at the Titanium USA Exhibition & Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on Octover 7-10, 2018.


Over the years, the TAD award has been presented to a diverse range of candidates using titanium in a variety of sectors including aerospace, industrial, medical, and consumer markets.

Titanium Industries, Incorporated (T.I.) underwrote the first TAD award in 2007. “ITA’s education and outreach efforts to promote new applications are considered essential for continued international growth of the Association,” said Brett Paddock, president and CEO of T.I. and past president of the ITA. Mr. Paddock, past chair of the ITA’s Grant and Membership committees, was instrumental in developing the criteria for the award. “We want to promote the use of titanium in emerging markets. We want to inspire the next big idea for titanium,” Paddock commented, pointing to potential lucrative, high-end applications in consumer products, medical and automotive as the fertile ground for new business.

The first recipient of the TAD award in 2007 was a team of researchers from Nippon Steel Corporation in Japan, who were honored for the expanded use of titanium in exhaust system materials, engine valve materials, materials for parts around engines, and as the material for suspension springs in motorcycles.

Paddock sees the ITA’s TAD award as a beacon to inspire inroads for titanium in new markets and novel applications. Constraining elements that once caused some designers and engineers to hesitate from specifying the use of titanium – such as challenging welding techniques – have long been solved, he said. “The fabrication of titanium products is no longer the mystery it was some time ago.”

For titanium industry veteran Stanley Abkowitz, founder of Dynamet Technology, Inc., winning the 2013 TAD award was more than just a personal honor. He felt it marked a new era for the use of titanium powder metal technology in the aerospace industry. Dynamet Technology, Inc. (Burlington, Mass.) pioneered the development and application of titanium powder metal (PM Ti) technology for four decades. Acceptance of PM Ti as a substitute for conventional Ti-6Al-4V mill products or forgings for use in aerospace components has been a long-sought objective that marked a breakthrough for the PM titanium industry.

In 2014, Expliseat SAS in Paris, France, accepted the award for the development and launch of a commercial aerospace interior cabin product simply known as the “Titanium Seat.”

Expliseat's titanium seat
Expliseat’s titanium seat for aircraft won the TAD Award in 2014.

Dr. Christopher Higgins, professor at Oregon State University, won the award in 2015 for his role in developing a novel titanium application for repairing highway infrastructure. Dr. Higgins designed the idea of the titanium staple and the requirement of a surface treatment that would allow titanium alloy bars to be used to strengthen concrete bridges.

“The ITA Grant Committee reviewed applications covering everything from musical instruments to building tools; connecting rods to micromachining technologies; marine vessels to a variety of medical applications,” said Jennifer Simpson, who has been the executive director of the ITA since 2001. “What is interesting is they were all worthy candidates. Each one of the applications ITA received was so imaginative, admirable and praiseworthy of the award. Unfortunately, only one candidate can win each year, so the committee has to follow careful criteria when evaluating the best candidate. It’s a tough decision for them because there are so many highly creative ideas for using titanium metal. Each year the committee is always excited to see what new ideas are out there.”

How to Apply

ITA members and non-members alike are encouraged to nominate any person or organization within the titanium arena (ITA member or non-member) who would be considered an excellent choice for receiving this valued award. Companies may decide to nominate several different candidates for consideration.

All nominations will be presented to the ITA Grant Committee for consideration and final approval will be made by the ITA Board of Directors.

Some possible candidate(s) qualifications and considerations for the award may be:

  • Significant achievement towards improving and expanding the use of titanium
  • Promoting titanium products into new applications or enhancing the performance of titanium in an existing application
  • Unveiling a technical breakthrough that specifically expands the use of titanium
  • Inaugurating or influencing outstanding research or marketing programs leading to the expansion of the titanium market or titanium products
  • Initiating or creating important new and imaginative uses for titanium

Help honor and commend colleagues who have made a positive effort to help advance the titanium industry.

Download the nomination form or visit the ITA website at for more information.

Deadline: June 30, 2018

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