(born 1963) is an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
metallurgist, Deputy Chief of the Metallurgy Division, Leader of the Materials Performance Group, and Director of the NIST Center for Automotive Lightweighting at the National Institute of Standards and Technology
The National Institute of Standards and Technology , known between 1901 and 1988 as the National Bureau of Standards , is a measurement standards laboratory, otherwise known as a National Metrological Institute , which is a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce...
Foecke received a bachelor's degree in 1986 and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in 1991, both from the University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...
. His thesis work, under Professor William W. Gerberich, involved the interaction of cracks and crack tip emitted dislocations on toughening in crystals.
He was awarded a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellowship at NIST to work with Dr. Robb M. Thomson in 1991 to study dislocation
In materials science, a dislocation is a crystallographic defect, or irregularity, within a crystal structure. The presence of dislocations strongly influences many of the properties of materials...
generation and motion in nanomaterials, and published the first experimental observations of dislocation mechanisms in any nanomaterial in 1993.
Beginning in 1996, Foecke has been involved in the forensic examination of the structure and mechanical properties of metals recovered from the wreck of the RMS Titanic
, and has been involved in expeditions in 1996, 1998 and 2004. He was the originator of the "rivet theory" to explain the rapid sinking of the Titanic
. His initial report on the hull steel and rivets was published in 1998. This study was greatly expanded in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Hooper McCarty in her PhD thesis work at Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...
and was published in 2008 in the book "What Really Sank the Titanic - New Forensic Discoveries" (Citadel Press).
Foecke was a member of the National Construction Safety Team that analyzed the collapse of the World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...
on September 11, 2001.
Foecke leads a project at NIST that is creating a finite element model of the wreck of the USS Arizona
USS Arizona, a , was built for the United States Navy in the mid-1910s. Named in honor of the 48th state's recent admission into the union, the ship was the second and last of the Pennsylvania class of "super-dreadnought" battleships. Although commissioned in 1916, the ship remained stateside...
, attempting to estimate remaining lifespan before collapse and to provide a mechanism to test remediation techniques before implementing them on the monument. Foecke is also a consultant on conservation efforts on the wrecks of the CSS Hunley and USS Monitor
USS Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She is most famous for her participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, the first-ever battle fought between two ironclads...
He has been involved in a number of television science productions as an interviewee and consultant, including Titanic - Anatomy of a Disaster (Discovery Channel), Titanic Live (Discovery Channel), Titanic - Answers from the Abyss (Discovery Channel), Collapse of the World Trade Center (Discovery Canada), Seconds from Disaster - Sinking of the RMS Titanic (National Geographic Channel), Living in a Material World (Discovery Science Channel), Return to Titanic (National Geographic Channel), Science of Superhuman Strength (Discovery Channel), and Humanless Earth (NOVA).
Foecke helped the Science Museum of Maryland in Baltimore develop the exhibit "Science of the Titanic", which tours children's museums in the US.
Since 2001, Foecke has been an Adjunct Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD and since 2010 has been an Adjunct Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland - College Park.
Dr. Foecke has a Bacon Number of 2 (Martin Sheen
Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez , better known by his stage name Martin Sheen, is an American film actor best known for his performances in the films Badlands and Apocalypse Now , and in the television series The West Wing from 1999 to 2006.He is considered one of the best actors never to be...
having been the narrator of the Discovery Channel documentary "Titanic-Anatomy of a Disaster", and co-starred in the movie "JFK" with Kevin Bacon
Kevin Norwood Bacon is an American film and theater actor whose notable roles include Animal House, Diner, Footloose, Flatliners, Wild Things, A Few Good Men, JFK, Apollo 13, Mystic River, The Woodsman, Trapped, Friday the 13th, Hollow Man, Tremors, Death Sentence, Frost/Nixon, Crazy, Stupid, Love....
), and an Erdos Number
The Erdős number describes the "collaborative distance" between a person and mathematician Paul Erdős, as measured by authorship of mathematical papers.The same principle has been proposed for other eminent persons in other fields.- Overview :...
of 4 (via Robb Thomson to Peter Bergmann
Peter Gabriel Bergmann was a German-American physicist best known for his work with Albert Einstein on a unified field theory encompassing all physical interactions...
To Ernst G. Straus
Ernst Gabor Straus was a German-American mathematician who helped found the theories of Euclidean Ramsey theory and of the arithmetic properties of analytic functions...
to Paul Erdos
Paul Erdős was a Hungarian mathematician. Erdős published more papers than any other mathematician in history, working with hundreds of collaborators. He worked on problems in combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, classical analysis, approximation theory, set theory, and probability theory...
), giving him an Erdős–Bacon number of 6.
Honors and awards
- Exxon Fellow, 1986–1991.
- Materials Research Society Graduate Student Award, 1990.
- National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow, 1991–1993.
- The Joseph Linnard Prize of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, 1997.
- Named "Hero of Public Service" by the Council for Excellence in Government and the Ford Foundation, 1998.
- United States Department of Commerce Gold Medal, 2005.
- NIST - William P. Slichter Award (2011)