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Hoyt Memorial Lecture: Metalmorphasis Change and Transition

By Mike Lakas

June 6, 2022

Change is constant, as nothing stays the same. Consider the words of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them—that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. “Some changes are the result of biology and the passage of time, within the natural cycle or order of things. Others are self-generated, under our own control and willful effort, or dependent upon encounters with significant others—family, friends, colleagues, and others close to us. Still, other changes occur because of circumstance or fate, a proverbial date with destiny and often beyond what we feel is our control. Whether it is our personal life or occupational, like metalcasting, this change can facilitate transition and transformation. I have coined the term metalmorphasis and this lecture as reflection of how to embrace change and utilize it as a vehicle for new opportunities. This is not just philosophical but also a look how we as metallurgist and metalcasters apply change (time, temperature, pressure, chemical reactions, etc.) to transform metals and create metalmorphasis. 

By Thomas Prucha recorded for the AFS Virtual Congress on April 12, 2021.


Change; is it the beginning or the end?
Perhaps it is the answer that causes us to fear it.
As children we anticipated and welcomed our changes,
Till we realized they ushered us to the end of periods of our life.
Change brings a sense of uncertainty, chaos and anxiety,
Will things ever be the same again?
Then, do we really want them to be?
Even as we enjoy the comfort of the present,
The seeds of the metamorphosis take root.
Relationships, attitudes and the feelings we once felt were secure,
Become the object of endings, new beginnings and change.
Is it something we need to dread or regret,
Relegating our thoughts to memories of what has been?
Or, do we seize the moment and move forward,
Forging new directions for our life, careers and friendships?
But it also brings us the chances for growth.
As difficult as it may be to embrace,
We cannot deny or run from it.
The key is to understand that change will come,
And learn from the opportunities that it presents. 

T. Prucha