University of N. Iowa announces retirement of longtime Director of Metal Casting Jerry Thiel

Posted By: Jerrod Weaver Industry,

Jerry Thiel, UNIFrom a press release of the University of N. Iowa.

University of Northern Iowa announces the retirement of longtime Director of Metal Casting and Foundry 4.0 Centers Jerry Thiel, effective August 30, 2024. After 32 years of dedicated service at UNI, Jerry Thiel will be stepping down from his position as Director of the Metal Casting and Foundry 4.0 Centers. Jerry has a diverse industrial background and has held management positions in the metal casting and related industries for over 49 years.

Jerry started at the University of Northern Iowa as a Foundry specialist in 1992 and is currently Director of the Metal Casting and the Foundry 4.0 Centers. Jerry’s work at the Metal Casting and Foundry 4.0 Centers has contributed significantly to the success of both programs. 

He has published numerous research papers pertaining to molding and core materials for the foundry industry. He is a past chairman of the AFS Molding and Materials division, Additive Manufacturing division and Cast Metals Institute. His research includes materials and process characterization, as well as additive manufacturing, computer simulation, and Foundry 4.0 technologies. Jerry has won multiple awards for his work in foundry materials including scientific merit, service citations, three AFS Howard Taylor awards and the Steel Founders Society (SFSA) Thomas Barlow award of honor for his support of the foundry industry. 

“Jerry Thiel has been a leader and critical contributor to the casting industry,” said Ray Monroe, Executive Vice President of the SFSA. “I have known him for decades, all the way back to his time in the foundry. He joined UNI and immediately contributed with his knowledge of the process, wide range of contacts, friends, and his drive to develop projects. As a key to the UNI metal casting program, he has been invaluable and was able to take the leadership of the center to expand its impact and maximize its contribution. In recent times, he is the acknowledged expert in additive technology and Industry 4.0. His contributions are essential to the future of our program and his students and co-workers are the leaders for the next generation.”

“Over the past three decades Jerry has built the UNI Metal Casting Center and Foundry 4.0 Center into nationally recognized centers of innovation to support and grow the foundry industry,” said Randy Pilkington, Executive Director of UNI’s Business & Community Services. “Jerry has transformed the casting industry through innovations to achieve broad adoption of additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0 technologies. He is nationally recognized and appreciated for his contributions to the metal casting industry and has dedicated his entire professional life to support the foundry industry with innovations and leadership.”

Thiel expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to work at the UNI Metal Casting and Foundry 4.0 Centers and his excitement for the next chapter of his life. He feels his greatest accomplishment has been the instilling of a passion for the industry to over 200 students that passed through the centers, many who are active members of the metal casting industry.

Thiel’s departure will undoubtedly be felt throughout the organization, but we wish him all then best in his retirement and future endeavors.

Learn more about the centers at To express interest in the position of Director of the Metal Casting and Foundry 4.0 Centers, click here.