James G. Morris, an internationally recognized pioneer in aluminum research, died October 29

H-L web Tuesday Oct. 31, 2006

UK's Morris pioneered in aluminum research

By Art Jester
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER

James Graham Morris, an internationally recognized pioneer in research on aluminum production and a University of Kentucky engineering professor for 47 years, died Sunday at Central Baptist Hospital. He was 78.

Mr. Morris, an expert on the manufacture of thin aluminum sheets, suffered a stroke in September.

"There are very few people in aluminum research as well known as Dr. Morris was," said Subodh Das, director of UK's Center for Aluminum Technology. "He was a worldwide authority. He was able to make the connection between academic work and industry."

Das said the chance to work with Mr. Morris influenced his decision to leave a vice presidency at ARCO Aluminum in Louisville in 1999 to come to UK.

Mr. Morris was instrumental in UK's creation of its Center for Aluminum Technology and a spin-off company, SECAT Inc. -- a name drawn from an abbreviation for Southeast Center for Aluminum Technology, owned by the licensing arm of the UK Research Foundation.

Thomas Lester, dean of UK's College of Engineering, said in a statement that: "Jim's many contributions to aluminum-production research played an integral role in the aluminum industry's decision to partner with UK in the creation of SECAT Inc., a highly successful for-profit corporation in Lexington that is a world leader in aluminum-related research and development."

UK, with aluminum industry support, created the James G. Morris-SECAT Aluminum Professorship. Mr. Morris had a bachelor's degree and a doctorate from Purdue University.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Virginia Morris of Lexington; a son, James R. Morris of Reston, Va.; and a sister, Jane E. Morris of Marietta, Ohio.

Services will be 1 p.m. Monday at W.R. Milward Mortuary-Southland. Visitation from 11 a.m. until time of the service. UK will announce a memorial service later.

Donations are suggested to: Bluegrass Animal Welfare League Inc., P.O. Box 4704, Lexington 40544-4704; and Dr. James G. Morris-SECAT Aluminum Professorship, College of Engineering, Anderson Hall, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40506-0046.