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The Metal Hour: We Don't Just Play Heavy Metal Music We Also Talk About Metallurgy

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Building a Community in Materials

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1310.1 - 11.1310.6



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Paper Authors


Patrick Ferro Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Patrick Ferro is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He earned his PhD in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in 1994. He has worked as a Process Engineer in the investment casting, silicon wafer manufacturing and alternative energy industries.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Metal Hour: We Don't Just Play Heavy Metal Music-- We Also Talk About Metallurgy Abstract

A weekly radio program is broadcast from a campus studio with the purposes of providing materials engineering instruction and entertainment to the local community. Faculty and students that organize and create each weekly show are students and fans of both materials topics and music. The format of the show includes music that ranges up to the extreme metal genre. Discussions are held between blocks of songs, and include a variety of topics. Past discussion topics include the environment, manufacturing, atomic level processes in materials and extraterrestial visitors. A project exercise in a Materials Engineering course allows students to create a music CD that incorporates a discussion of a materials related topic. Learning evaluation criteria are being developed.


The Metal Hour concept was originated in 2000 at Washington State University-Vancouver. The campus radio station, CougarRF was new and under development. Several Metal Hour broadcast attempts were made during 2000 and 2001, but were never aired due to lack of a transmitter.

The Metal Hour restarted in September 2005 at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The show is broadcast once a week during a regular time slot and can be heard on the radio at FM 90.7 in the Terre Haute listening area. The show can also be heard on the internet at The radio station at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, FM 90.7 'The Monkey', has a wide and regular audience, and strong campus support.

The objective of the Metal Hour is to develop interest in Metallurgy and Materials. The show includes materials-related topics in a musical entertainment format, and exposes large numbers of radio and internet listeners to different aspects of materials. The show is also a good vehicle for introducing different materials topics to engineering students in an entertaining manner.

Format and Features

The format of the Metal Hour is music, followed by discussions about materials-related topics. There is generally no link between the music that is played and the discussions that follow. The first fifteen minutes of a given show are spent playing two or three tracks from recognizable bands. After the last track in the initial set, a short discussion about a featured topic is presented. Typical featured topics include strengthening of metals, welding, failure, aircraft, the environment, etc. The initial discussion lasts approximately five minutes, and serves as a general introduction. The featured topic will be discussed approximately two more times during a given show.

Ferro, P. (2006, June), The Metal Hour: We Don't Just Play Heavy Metal Music We Also Talk About Metallurgy Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1461

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