April 19, 2023
Corrosion assessment and prevention is critical for aircraft design and maintenance, yet the topic has few experts due to its technically challenging nature. One such expert is Alain Adjorlolo, a pioneer and innovator in the field, who holds 10 granted patents and 11 patent applications on corrosion inhibitors, adhesives and composites. Adjorlolo has built a career and reputation as a highly respected engineer via technical advances that have influenced modern aircraft design and advanced sustainability across the industry.
Adjorlolo has been named the 2023 Diamond Award recipient for Translating Innovation into Impact. This award honors outstanding UW College of Engineering alumni who have developed innovative technologies or enabled technology translation resulting in impactful solutions in industry or society.
After graduating with a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering (MSE), Adjorlolo joined The Boeing Company as a fledgling support engineer, and today serves as a project engineering lead for advanced materials. Over his 31-year career, he has made many significant contributions. His design of a corrosion risk assessment tool is now industry standard for minimizing risk of galvanic corrosion of aluminum structures in assembly with carbon fiber composites, extending the airplane’s heavy maintenance interval from eight to twelve years. He streamlined production of the one-piece carbon fiber airplane frames used on all Boeing 787 aircrafts while maintaining compliance with corrosion requirements. With increasing emphasis on environmental sustainability, Adjorlolo is leading the charge to eliminate hazardous materials commonly used in corrosion prevention. In doing so, he’s built a roadmap for more accurately assessing the long-term protection performance of non-hazardous substitutes in the commercial aviation ecosystem of the future.
His expertise is highly sought after across Boeing teams as well as here in his home department at the UW. An affiliate professor of MSE, Adjorlolo is commended by his students for his unique ability to communicate complex information. He spent many years mentoring both undergraduate and graduate students in structural materials research and development, teaching undergraduate courses, and instructing high school students in Materials Science Camp activities.
In 2022, Adjorlolo was named a Technical Fellow at Boeing, a designation held by less than 500 engineers. He received the Black Engineer of the Year Award in Outstanding Contribution in Industry category from US Black Engineer and Information Technology in 2020 and was featured in Innovation Quarterly in 2021.
“Dr. Adjorlolo is an exemplary alumnus of the MSE department, college and the university, being highly dedicated and hands-on, a tireless teacher and mentor to the students, and a great colleague to the faculty. His always-welcoming demeanor has significantly contributed to the success of the department,” said Professor Mehmet Sarikaya.
The award will be conferred at a ceremony in May.