Memorial For Osman Inal Is Thursday

SOCORRO, N.M. April 12, 2011 – New Mexico Tech lost a dear and beloved professor Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, when Dr. Osman T. Inal passed away.

Dr. Inal’s family has scheduled a memorial service and celebration of his life for 2 p.m. Thursday, April 14, at Macey Center. A native of Turkey, Dr. Inal is survived by his wife, Serife, their daughter, Nazli, his siblings and nieces and nephews. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Dr. Osman T. Inal

“Dr. Inal was a superb teacher, an outstanding researcher and 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. Inal joined the faculty at Tech in 1972 as an associate professor of materials engineering and earned full professorship in 1980. He added the title of associate vice president and dean of engineering in 2001. 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.”

Osman Tugay Inal was born on Leap Day, February 29, 1940, in Turkey. He was especially proud of having a birthday on Leap Day. On his most recent birthday in 2008, he accentuated the fact that he was celebrating his 17th birthday!

Dr. Inal earned his first bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. He then earned three degrees in metallurgical engineering from Columbia University: a bachelor’s in 1964, a master’s in 1965 and his doctorate in 1969. After working three years in Southern California, he joined the Tech faculty in 1972.

“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.”

Another colleague at Tech, Dr. Deidre Hirschfeld, said Dr. Inal cared deeply about his students’ success and that he lived to teach.

“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 acculturalization to the United States. He was a deeply caring person for students.”

Over the years, Dr. Inal established a pipeline of Turkish students who came to Tech, including several of his nephews.

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. López said, “As Adlai Stephenson said on the occasion of Dag Hammarskjöld’s death, ‘We will mourn his death until the time of ours’.”

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech