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Professor David St John Wins the John Campbell Medal

Professor David St John Wins the John Campbell Medal

Professor David St John, one of Materials Australia’s Certified Materials Professionals (CMatPs), has been awarded the prestigious John Campbell Medal by the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers.

The John Campbell Medal is awarded each year to honour sustained contribution to the science and understanding of metal casting, by virtue of research and development.

Professor David St John’s career has been focused on scientific research for industry application. He was the Chief Executive Officer of the CAST Cooperative Research Centre and was responsible for the creation of the Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) and the Centre for Advanced Materials Processing and Manufacturing (AMPAM). All of these are large industry – research collaborations, blending technologies and processes to create new, unique opportunities for materials development, processing and manufacturing.

Whilst at CAST, David worked with casting companies such as Ford’s Australian and New Zealand foundries, Nissan Castings Australia, and Rio Tinto Alcan cast houses, as well as a number of smaller foundries. David assisted these casting companies in solving a variety of casting and heat treatment issues.

In recent years, David has relinquished these leadership roles to concentrate on his research. He is a Professor of Materials Processing and Manufacturing at the University of Queensland. The core area of his research is the solidification of metals in a broad range of casting technologies. The research covers the fundamentals of the science of solidification in particular nucleation and growth of primary and secondary phases that constitute the final as-cast micro and macro structures of the cast alloys, and the practical application of the developed knowledge.

David currently works with major companies, such as BlueScope Steel, Cook Medical Australia, Nihon Superior and Magnotec (a global supplier of magnesium alloys), on projects related to nucleation and modification of eutectic microstructures.

David has published over 300 papers on a wide variety of materials engineering subjects with a particular emphasis on solidification and casting issues. Some of his most recent work includes: Grain refinement of aluminium alloys: recent developments in predicting the as-cast grain size of alloys refined by Al-Ti-B master alloys; The grain refinement of Al-Si alloys and the cause of Si poisoning: Insights revealed by the interdependence model; and Hot tear susceptibility of Al-Mg-Si-Fe alloys with varying iron contents.

David holds a Bachelor (Hons) and a PhD in Physical Metallurgy, both awarded by the University of Queensland.

Based in the United Kingdom, the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers represents all individuals involved in the castings and associated industries. Members include foundrymen, design engineers, metallurgists, moulders, patternmakers, CAD technicians, methods engineers, researchers, students and suppliers to the industry.

Much like Materials Australia, the aim of the institute is to bring together people from all sectors and levels, to offer help, advice, technical support and professional development opportunities, ensuring that members make the most of their careers in the castings industry. For more information about the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers, please visit:

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