James Sanderson, former ET chairman dies

James Sanderson

James Sanderson, a past chairman of the International Aluminum Extrusion Technology Seminar and longtime Kaiser Aluminum employee, passed away on April 19.

Sanderson started his career with Kaiser Aluminum in 1970 as the hot mill metallurgist at the Ravenswood, West Virginia, rolling mill and held many key positions within the company. He spent the majority of his career as general manager at the Los Angeles, California, and Sherman, Texas extrusion facilities and continued as an industry consultant to Kaiser until recently.

“Jim successfully supported the growth of our markets segments in the truck trailer and automotive applications and ultimately became the technical and quality manager for the engineered products group,” said Ray Parkinson, SVP— Advanced Engineering for Kaiser Aluminum.

Applying his technical expertise across the industry, Sanderson actively represented Kaiser Aluminum at the ASTM International Committee B07 on Light Metals and Alloys dating back to 1998, said Parkinson. In 2014, he was presented with the ASTM Award of Merit and its accompanying title of fellow, ASTM’s highest organizational recognition for individual contributions to standards activities. He also received three B07 Awards of Appreciation during his tenure.

As a longtime member of the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) he served on the Technical Services Committee and he represented AEC on the ASTM B07 Committee on several technical issues involving detailed specifications that were critical to the ‘soft alloy’ extruders in the industry.

“Jim had a stellar reputation at AEC — as a doer and a leader who made a difference to all of us. People loved working with Jim and respected his intellect, integrity, and humanity,” said ET seminar committee chairman and AEC Business Excellence Steering Committee chairman Craig Werner, VP Extrusion Technology at Kaiser Aluminum.

Sanderson was a longtime member of the ET Seminar Committee, which plans and organizes the International Aluminum Extrusion Technology Seminar every four years. He was vice chairman for ET ’04 and then chairman for ET ’08 and ET ’12. In 2012, Sanderson received the prestigious Maurice H. Roberts Award of Excellence, the highest honor awarded by the ET Seminar Committee, given to an aluminum extrusion industry professional who has demonstrated outstanding qualities that contribute to the advancement of the industry.

Throughout his life Sanderson took the time to mentor those around him and would teach much of his metallurgy knowledge through stories of application. “Jim had a long and exceptional career in our industry and provided critical volunteer service to our industry through his relentless focus on technical standards, his leadership and ongoing efforts to support ETs and the training and mentoring Jim provided to so many of us. Jim was a critical advocate for our industry and was a model for the best that AEC volunteers can offer and achieve,” said Werner. “He was a mentor and friend to me. I was fortunate and made better for having known him.”

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