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Megan Malara selected as 2020-2021 MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow


Dr. Megan Malara was selected to be the 2020-2021 MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow. Only one candidate is selected each year with the winner working as a special legislative assistant on the staff of a member of Congress or congressional committee.

Megan earned her BS in Materials Science and Engineering from Ohio State in 2014 and continued on to earn a PhD this past December. 

Initially, she was intrigued by the the idea of helping people through the application of materials science to the body, which she says, "provides a unique environment". Malara began working in Dr. Heather Powell's, Associate Professor in both Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, research lab in 2013 as an undergraduate student and is currently a post-doctoral researcher in the research lab where she is developing cultured autologous skin grafts for large total body surface area (TBSA) burn wounds.

Dr. Malara applied to be a MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow and learned of her appointment shortly after her last round of interviews on March 21. As a Fellow, Megan will be conducting legislative or oversight work, assisting in congressional hearings and debates, and preparing briefs and writing speeches on science-related topics. As part of the onboarding experience, Megan will be further interviewed and assigned to a member of Congress or congressional committee based on her speciality and the area in need. 

During the fellowship, I hope to address legislative issues that include translating research and technology to manufacturing jobs, increasing opportunities for education, and improving public confidence in science.

Dr. Malara is not the first Buckeye to earn the ticket to D.C. for her expertise in materials science and engineering. Ohio State alumni, Ed Herderick and Drew Steigerwald, were former MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows. Ed Herderick, Director of Additive Manufacturing at Ohio State's Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence, was a Fellow for the 2009-2010 term. He earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering in 2009. Drew Steigerwald graduated from Ohio State with a BS in Engineering Physics in 2005 and earned his PhD from Vanderbilt in 2010. His term as a MRS/TMS Congressional and Engineering Fellow ran from 2012-2013.

The term begins on September 1, 2020, and Megan will be relocating to Washington, D.C. At the end of her term, Megan intends to work in science policy.

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering congratulates Dr. Megan Malara, thanks her for her contributions to materials science research, and wishes her luck on Capitol Hill!