Betzalel Avitzur received his education in mechanical engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, graduating with a B.Sc. and Dip.Ing. in July 1949. During the years 1949-1954, he was engaged in government research and development work in Israel. Avitzur studied and gained his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1959. After completing his Ph.D., Avitzur began working at the Scientific Laboratory of Ford Motor Co., where his work included the study of the mechanical processes of plastic working of metals, such as rolling, wire drawing and extrusion, and spinning. In 1961, he returned to Israel to teach at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in the Mechanical Engineering Department.
Life at Lehigh
Avitzur came to Lehigh University in 1964, and served as a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering until 1995. In 1970, he founded the Institute for Metal Forming (now known as the Loewy Institute) and subsequently became its director. The original objectives of the Institute for Metal Forming were to teach the principles and applications of metal forming technology to graduate and undergraduate students, to provide instruction and equipment for graduate research in metal forming processes, and to assist industry by providing solutions to metal forming problems. Upon its establishment in 1993, Avitzur was awarded the Loewy Chair.
Avitzur is a member of the Editorial Boards of several society committees (metal forming and lubrication divisions). Avitzur was elected a Fellow in The American Society of Mechanical Engineers in May 1982. He is a recipient of the ASME "Blackall Machine Tool and Gage Award" for 1988, the "Mordica Memorial Award" for 1996, and became an Honorary member of the Japan Soc. of Tech. of Plasticity" (JSTP) in 1993.
Avitzur is also the author of numerous technical papers and four books entitled, "Metal Forming: Processes and Analysis," "Metal Forming: The Application of Limit Analysis," "Handbook of Metal Forming Processes," and, co-authored with Dr. S. Talbert, "Elementary Mechanics of Plastic Flow in Metal Forming." Avitzur also co-edited the book entitled, "Production to Near Net Shape." Avitzur retired from Lehigh University in 1995, but continues to do research and consulting in metalforming and gross plastic deformation.