Department honors outstanding students
The Department of Materials Science and Engineering honored outstanding students from Materials Science and Engineering and Welding Engineering for their accomplishments at its annual spring awards banquet.
Eric Brizes, a welding engineering student from Willoughby, Ohio, is this year’s recipient of the John Lippold Award, which goes to the outstanding senior scholar conducting research in the discipline.
“Recognition of my work in undergraduate research really motivates me to maintain diligence in my graduate studies,” Brizes said. He plans to continue his efforts in graduate school after he earns his B.S. in the fall of 2018.
His interests lie mostly in the transportation industry. “The future of automotive welding promises unique challenges,” he said.
Brizes is straddling the line between undergraduate and graduate education. “I’m staring graduate school this summer and doing combined B.S. and M.S. work in the fall, then graduating with my undergraduate degree in the fall and continuing with grad school,” he explained. “I’m a bit unconventional.”
He chose welding engineering thanks to the influence of his older brother, Nick, who also went through Ohio State’s program. “I don’t always recommend taking your older brother’s advice, but in this case it worked out perfectly.”
Mary Cech, a materials science and engineering major from Lake Orion, Michigan, has been recognized as one of the department’s outstanding juniors for the academic year.
She’s grateful that the department has been “so encouraging. It’s a great feeling and a tremendous honor to be recognized for my hard work.
Her interests include metals, polymers, and electronic materials, but her real passion is in environmental change. “Whether it is recycling materials, energy efficiency, or something new, I want to work on environmentally conscious projects and technology,” she said. She’s looking forward to next fall’s course in materials for energy technology.
“I study materials science and engineering because I truly believe it’s the future,” Cech said. “Everything is made of materials, and all materials can be improved.
“It’s even more exciting to think of the materials that haven’t been realized yet, and the endless applications and possibilities ahead.”
Jocie Steinke, of Bexley, I this year’s recipient of the Ernie W. Christin Award for the materials science and engineering student who best demonstrates how industrial experience has influenced their educational development.
“It was nice to end my senior year being recognized by my department for my work in my internships,” said Steinke, who plans to graduate in May.
Her primary interest has been in metallurgy. “I didn’t really know that much about the field as a freshman, but I was really interested in understanding how to change the properties of materials and how to create new opportunities with new materials,” she said. “It has been a really good fit for a major and a career path.”
After graduation, Steinke will work as a quality engineer with Worthington Industries in Monroe, Ohio.
Taylor J. Dittrich, a materials science and engineering student from Aurora, Ohio, is this year’s Mars. G. Fontana Award recipient.
“Winning this award was a complete surprise, and I’m very honored to be recognized for my efforts in research,” Dittrich said. “Our department has a lot of wonderful undergraduates assisting professors in research, so to be chosen as the recipient of this award means a lot to me.”
Ditrich, who plans to graduate in May, will work for Lincoln Electric after completing her degree.
“I’m most interested in the metallurgical side of materials science, especially in welding,” she said. “I didn’t come into the major with a specific specialization in mind, but after starting as a research assistant in Glenn Daehn’s research group my freshman year, I became very interested in metals.”
Her interest in the discipline as a whole started during a high-school trip to NASA with a demonstration on tensile testing.
“I thought that the testing was really interesting and started to look into materials science as a career path,” she said. “I decided it would be a great major that touches on several engineering disciplines.”
Daniel Fishburn, a welding engineering student from Cincinnati, is this year’s recipient of the Harvey Castner Award for the student who best demonstrates how industrial experience influenced their educational development.
“There are many people who helped me get to this point in my academic and professional career, and winning the award hopefully shows to them that I have taken advantage of the opportunities they helped provide,” Fishburn said.
“Welding is used in so many different fields and in so many different ways I knew my options for my career would be open,” said Fishburn, who plans to graduate in May. “This allowed me to search for a job which I could take pride in and have a passion for everyday. I believe I have found what I was looking for at BWXT working on nuclear propulsion systems for the Navy, which is where I will be starting after graduation.”
He chose to study welding engineering at Ohio State “because of the community surrounding the field. I came into Ohio State in undecided engineering, but after attending the open house put on by Megan Daniels and hearing from alumni about their experiences at OSU and in their careers, I knew this was the major I wanted to pursue.”
Austin Gordon, a welding engineering student from Sugar Grove, Ohio, is this year’s recipient of the EWI Award, which goes to the senior scholar who has demonstrated passion for the advancement of welding and manufacturing technology through exceptional undergraduate research.
“I’m very proud and happy to have my accomplishments in research recognized through this award,” said Gordon, who plans to graduate in December 2018.
His interests lie mostly in additive manufacturing, but he’s curious about the discipline as a whole.
“I found the topics covered in our courses to be fascinating,” he said. “I also feel like the department genuinely cares about seeing its students succeed.”
Travis Peters, a materials science and engineering student from Bryan, Ohio, is this year’s recipient of the George St. Pierre Award for scholarship and professional activities.
Peters described getting the news as “an incredible feeling, especially when I learned how acclaimed and admired Dr. Pierre was as department chair. I’m truly honored.”
He will graduate in the summer of 2018 with a B.S. and plans to complete his M.S. in materials science by the spring of 2019. His interests lie primarily in ceramics, with an added focus on energy applications and electrical properties.
“Chemistry was my favorite subject in high school, and we asked our teacher one day what he would do if he wasn’t teaching,” Peters said. “He answered ‘Materials science and engineering,” so I went with it.”
Kelsey Riffle, a materials science and engineering student from Granville, is this year’s Alan J. Markworth Memorial Award recipient.
“It’s a great honor to win the Markworth Award,” Riffle said. “I was definitely surprised, but I was glad to see that the department believes I embody Alan Markworth’s values.”
Riffle, who plans to graduate in May, has focused primarily on metallurgy during her studies at Ohio State. “It’s a field of study that’s been around for years, but we’re still finding new techniques and technologies to improve the materials we have now and to invent new ones.”
She chose the major after seeing a demonstration of how diapers work. “I found the absorbent gel fascinating and wondered how many other aspects of life had these simple materials.”
The Markworth Award goes to the student who best reflects the personal and professional talents of Dr. Markworth.
Anna Stanton, of Rocky River, Ohio, is this year’s outstanding senior in materials science and engineering.’
“It was nice to be recognized for hard work, but receiving the award made me reflect on the past four years at Ohio State,” Stanton said. “I’m very thankful for all of the support from my family, friends, and professors who have helped me to get where I am.”
Stanton, who will graduate in may, has focused primarily on polymers, though she accepted a job with an electronics firm.
Like many students in materials science, she came to the discipline wanting to pursue engineering but undecided on what kind. “Materials science and engineering seemed to have a nice combination of both chemical and mechanical aspects to it, so I picked it.”
After graduation, Stanton will go to work with Eschweiler and Potashnik, LLC, a Cleveland law firm specializing in patent protection. She’ll be a patent engineer helping with patent applications from the electronics industry.