ITA Honors Metallurgist

Paul J. Bania will be rewarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award that recognizes his contributions to the advancement of titanium applications and technology.

Titanium metallurgist, researcher and inventor Paul J. Bania will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Titanium Association (Northglenn, CO) during the organization’s 30th annual conference in Chicago, on September 21-24 of this year.

The award recognizes exceptional contributions to the advancement of titanium applications and technology while celebrating colleagues who have made a positive impact on the industry.

Bania has over three decades’ experience in titanium research and development and was chosen from a field of eight nominees for his outstanding efforts in developing new alloys and improving melting and mill processes used for titanium applications in aerospace, auto racing and numerous other industries.

“Paul’s whole body of work – his innovations, his developments and making those developments applicable to production – set him apart,” explained Edward Sobota Jr., the TSI Titanium and ITA Achievement Award committee chairman. “It was his practical research that really made a difference.”

Bania has participated in the invention of eight titanium alloys and received four patents for melting and production advances.  Upon receiving the award, he commented, “A lot of times you get ideas that become patented but don’t become large or commercial successes.  Some of my greatest satisfaction has come from a couple of patents that were put into commercial use.”

Both of those achievements came during his 17-year tenure at TIMET, where he served as the vice president of quality and technology. He invented a simple, extremely effective method of reducing low density inclusions in rotating grade aerospace alloys, by shearing sponge to a small size that prevented the defects from surviving the VAR melting process.

He also worked on the formulation of a new generation of oxidation-resistant, high-temperature beta alloys that were first used by Boeing for aerospace gas turbine engine components.

In 1998, Bania formed TiPro Corporation to supply titanium into the auto racing industry, acting as both metallurgist and supplier to firms manufacturing valve train parts. By buying and re-selling downgraded aerospace engine alloys, he enabled mill product manufacturers to profit from material that would have otherwise been scrapped, and racing part manufacturers to source higher grade metal.

“The manufacturers were able to sell material that was still acceptable for my market and my customers got higher quality metal to make stronger, more fatigue-resistant parts. It was a win/win,” he said. Bania now runs a consulting company, PJBTiPro LLC.

“I was stunned,” Bania stated about winning the ITA Achievement Award. “If you look at the list of the people who’ve won this, many were my mentors. It’s an extreme honor to be recognized with those folks. I was very humbled.”

The Achievement Award has been given to 17 individuals since its inception in 2000. Out of eight of those individuals, plus Edward A., Sobota Jr. whose father, the late Edward Sobota Sr., also a recipient of the award, made up the Award Committee. “These people are very knowledgeable about who has made contributions to the betterment of the industry. It is a very highly regarded honor for those who’ve received it,” Sobota commented.

Founded in 1984, the ITA is a membership-based international trade group dedicated to the titanium metal industry. Its focus is to promote industry growth as well as educate the public on the titanium’s benefits. Current membership includes more than 200 organizations and over 1,500 individual members worldwide. Jennifer Simpson is the executive director.