Dr. Kamal Asgar , AB, BS, MS, PhD
Biologic & Materials Sciences
Dr. Kamal Asgar, AB, BS, ChE, MS, PhD, Professor of Dentistry in the Department of Biomaterials, retired from active faculty status July 1, 1988, after many distinguished years of service to the School and to the profession. Dr. Asgar was born in Tabriz, Iran, on August 28, 1922. When he was ten years old, his family moved to Tehran, where he graduated from Alborz High School in 1941. Later that same year, he entered the Technical College of Tehran, from which he received a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1945. He journeyed to the U.S. in 1946 to enter U of M's master's program in chemistry. Upon receiving that degree in 1948, he went on to pick up a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering (1951), and finally a Ph.D. in combined metallurgy and dental materials (1959). He became a U.S. citizen in 1955. In 1949, Dr. Asgar was hired as a research assistant in the School of Dentistry's Department of Dental Materials to do chemical analyses of amalgam for mercury content, and later to deliver occasional lectures in the area of plastics. He held this position until 1956, when he became a research associate half-time, and an instructor in dentistry half-time. Upon completion of his Ph.D. in 1959, Dr. Asgar's instructor's position became an assistant professorship. He was promoted to associate professor in 1962, and professor in 1966.
Eventually, Dr. Asgar moved into the area of metals, casting, and porcelain bonding. Over the years, his research has resulted in a number of major contributions to the field, including development of: the first spherical high copper alloy; a new casting technique for more accurate casting of dental restorations; a new technique for measuring true contraction of gypsum products; a different way of measuring the bond strength of porcelain fused to metal; and a new partial denture alloy. This list barely scratches the surface of his total work, which is contained in some 86 articles published over his career. He has presented 32 consecutive papers at the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) annual conferences. Also, 102 of his papers have appeared on microfilm of IADR's Dental Materials Group. When he reviews the body of his work to date, the contribution that stands out to him as the most significant is his development of the two-phase concept used to study brittle failure microscopically, which was published in the American Society for Metals Transactions Quarterly in September 1964. Dr. Asgar has been recognized three times (1963, 1970, and 1980) as the recipient of the Paul Gibbons Award, which the senior class presents every year at graduation ceremonies to the instructor judged their most outstanding in four years of schooling. He also received the Wilmer Souder Award from IADR's Dental Materials Group in 1970, and the Hollenback Award from the Academy of Operative Dentistry in 1984.
Dr. Asgar is a member of a number of professional societies, including IADR, American Society for Metals, American Electron Probe Association, Federation Dentaire Internationale, Society for Biomaterials, and others. He has also held many offices and chaired many committees in these groups, particularly in IADR (president of Dental Materials Group, chair of Hatton Award Committee and Science Award Committee, president of Ann Arbor section, among others). He is listed in American Men and Women of Science, Who's Who in the Midwest, and Who's Who in Technology Today. Dr. Asgar's service has also extended to committee membership on a number of national boards, including the National Board of Dental Examiners, Advisory Board of the Journal of Dental Research, and on several specification subcommittees for the American National Standards Committee (three of which he chaired). He has been a consultant to the U.S. Naval School in Bethesda, Maryland; the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Allen Park, Michigan; Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; the U.S. Air Force Base in Lackland, Texas; and the ADA Council on Dental Materials, Instruments, and Equipment. A guest lecturer in dental schools and at professional meetings all over the U.S. and abroad, Dr. Asgar continues to travel extensively.