Students & Faculty

Kent D. Peaslee Junior Faculty Award

►Award Recipients
►Available Mentors

Application deadline for the 2024-2025 academic year is 30 June 2024.



This award was established in 2013 in honor and memory of Kent D. Peaslee for his unequaled passion for teaching and promoting the steel industry to students, faculty members, and steel industry personnel. His achievements forged a legacy of encouragement to all those dedicated to advancing the technical development, production, processing and application of iron and steel.


The purpose of this award is to increase the number of younger engineering professors with a vested interest in the iron and steel industry. The award, open to all technical engineering disciplines, will assist junior faculty in building their research and professional service activities towards obtaining tenure. This award is granted to an individual professor and is not transferable.

The award will provide funding to encourage the following activities:

  • Help younger professors become better informed about the steel industry.

  • Provide seed money for steel-related research projects.

  • Develop relationships between university and industry personnel.

  • Recruit more students for employment in the steel industry.


It is the intent to give one award every year. Faculty with three or more years until tenure-track evaluation are eligible to apply, and it is not intended to have repeat recipients. The number of awards granted depends on fund availability, the number of proposals received, and the quality of proposals received; at the discretion of the selection committee. The maximum grant per award will be US$50,000 per year renewable for a maximum allowable time of three years. An annual report with sufficient detail for the committee to assess performance must be submitted for award continuation, with each new award beginning in August. The award will be considered discretionary, allowing the professor to work on behalf of the iron and steel industry in the manner he or she deems best to achieve the award objective.


To assist the recipients in forging steel industry networks (access, connections, relationships), applicants are requested to suggest two AIST Member mentors: one with an established professor active in AIST and one with a steel industry representative currently employed with a steel producing company. Both mentors should be in the appropriate area of expertise for the award candidate. AIST will assist in providing mentors if needed. Feel free to contact past KDP JFA recipients to request their assistance

Related Activities

The selected professor is encouraged to attend AIST programs such as training courses, member chapter events, AISTech, etc. during the award period. With pre-approval, registration fees and travel expenses will be reimbursed by the AIST Foundation for up to two qualifying events per calendar year.

Call for Proposals

Proposals will be solicited from tenure-track professors of technical engineering disciplines at universities in North America. The proposal should include a three-year plan and indicate how the professor would approach the task of fulfilling the award objective, including:

  • Specific activities toward building connections with a steel company or supplier to the steel industry.

  • Specific activities toward building student interest in the steel industry.

  • Plans for a steel related student campus event and other programs to obtain direct student contact with the steel industry.

  • Resume and present position, and years of tenure-track.

  • Estimated distribution of total cost by year.

  • Names and contact information of suggested mentors.

  • Letter of support from university department head and letter of support from mentors, academic and industry.

Evaluation Criteria

It is the responsibility of the submitter to assure sufficient information is contained in the proposal for reviewers to evaluate according to the following criteria:

  • Student and Faculty Engagement (40%) – Assist junior faculty in building their research and professional service activities towards obtaining tenure. Increase the number of students planning a career in the steel industry by student involvement in events, courses and research. To promote the steel industry to students and faculty members.

  • Value to the Steel Industry (40%) – Direct benefits through the innovation, creativity and application of the proposed research. Provide direct student interactions with the steel industry. Increase the potential to recruit mmore students for employment in the steel industry.

  • Qualifications (20%) – The capabilities of the professor and team to fulfill the program objectives. Other factors considered under the criterion are project schedule, milestones, decision points and overall cost.

Proposal Submission

Your completed proposal must be submitted electronically in pdf form to Lori Wharrey at by 30 June. Awardee(s) will be announced August 2024 for the 2024–2025 academic year.

Questions about the grant program and/or proposal process should be directed to Lori Wharrey at or +1.724.814.3044.

Overhead Costs

To ensure the grants funded by the Foundation go directly to the intended purpose, it is the policy of the AIST Foundation to not allow overhead costs. The AIST Foundation is a Pennsylvania-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation organized for charitable, education and scientific purposes that seeks to attract technology-oriented professionals to the steel industry by educating the public about the high-tech, diverse and rewarding nature of careers in modern steelmaking. The Foundation receives contributions from industry corporations and individual members of AIST. The AIST Foundation reserves the right to assess grants on a case by case basis to determine the application of this policy.