Peter R. Sahm passed away on 19 December 2013 at the age of 79. In 1979, he was named a full professor and the director of the internationally recognized Foundry Institute of the RWTH Aachen University. As a foundry engineer, with an extensive background in industry and a seven-year career at a research laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, USA, Prof. Sahm brought many ideas for achieving his research goals with him to Aachen. He energetically pursued the realization of these objectives with a clear concept he summarized as „innovative solidification technologies.“ Prof. Sahm was an excellent research manager, who successfully obtained considerable funding through public and industrial research organizations.
Instead of performing extensive trials, Prof. Sahm insisted that one should understand what was happening during the casting process and thus make it calculable and predictable. For him, casting process simulation was not simply a technology, but the necessary key to understanding the quantitative relationships between root causes and effects. It was extremely important to Prof. Sahm that „The foundryman has to use simulation himself.“
The intensive research and development work carried out at the Foundry Institute in the field of casting process simulation was the basis for the establishment of MAGMA Giessereitechnologie GmbH in 1988. Prof. Sahm was the initiator and one of the founding shareholders of the company. Without his former students, whose motivation and skills in simulation he significantly influenced, the development of MAGMASOFT® would not have been possible.
His ideas regarding what casting process simulation should be able to do went far beyond what could be realized in the initial steps. However, they were the vision for long-term development goals. Prof. Sahm followed the increasing acceptance and the consistently growing worldwide use of this methodology with great pleasure and satisfaction. MAGMA as a company continues to benefit from Prof. Sahm’s international connections and his systematic establishment of a research network, which still plays a significant role in the development of our casting process simulation capabilities today.
Working with Prof. Sahm was challenging, while also being extremely motivating and great fun. Professionally, he was demanding but encouraging to his staff, as he continuously supported their personal development. His confidence and his trust often provided the necessary drive to successfully overcome difficulties with determination. Not only does MAGMA worldwide owe a lot to Prof. Sahm, but he has provided outstanding service and knowledge to the entire foundry industry across the world. He will remain a lasting role model for us all!
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