Rocky Mountain “Hi!”

Jake and his research poster

Jake and his research poster

At my REU in Golden, Colorado, I gained experience in research, industry, and life.   The program was funded by the National Science Foundation and focused on metallurgical aspects of MSE.  I worked alongside a professor, Emmanuel De Moor from the Colorado School of Mines and senior scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology: alumni from OSU and from Northwestern. Talk about a great group!

We evaluated 4 alloys for their compliance with a new code: Fire Resistance of structural steels. Basically, it was a lot of elevated temperature tensile testing and microscopy. I gained experience in both, but focused more on characterization. One of my pearlite images is even being entered into a competition at the Microscopy & Microanalysis conference!

At the end of the summer, we had a poster session and mine was judged in the top 5 out of 60.

Work was not the only thing that occupied my time, of course. The students I lived with at Mines Park were very adventurous. We visited Denver for Colorado Rockies games and concerts, hiked 14,000+ ft. mountains, went skydiving from 18,000+ ft., took a few local brewery tours, and played some golf.

Enjoying Colorado

What did I learn from this experience?
* I love the outdoors.
* Heights aren’t such a big deal anymore.
* Grad school is definitely the next step in my life.

Summer Planning in February

The lack of blog posts over the last few months is an indicator of 1) how busy we are and 2) how we’re still adjusting to the semester system at OSU.  While Autumn semester seemed long, it was fairly relaxed, with the usual fall traditions at college.

Spring semester, however, is a shock!  We have to get ready for summer and all the normal end-of-the-year events in just 14 weeks, rather than the 20 we used to have.

Here are a few highlights of MSE happenings:

Winter 2012 MSE Grads

Winter 2012 MSE Grads

  1. Seven MSE students graduated in Autumn Semester with their Bachelor of Science degrees in Materials Science and Engineering. Thirty-four are expected to graduate in May.
  2. This semester we welcomed 65 new students to the Materials Science and Engineering major.
  3. The Material Advantage / MSE Club has sponsored several speakers from industry, has held a few Happy Hours, and continues to raise funds for their TMS meeting in San Antonio in March. This year we have a team registered for the Materials Bowl, and 16 of our students will compete in the research poster contest at the conference!
  4. Students participated in the annual SWE Engineering Career Fair, where more than 150 employers congregated to meet potential interns, co-ops, and career employees.
  5. Those students returning to OSU next Autumn are filing the FAFSA and OSU scholarship applications by the February 15 deadline.

Jake, a junior in MSE, was excited to already hear that he has been accepted for a 2013 summer REU at the Colorado School of Mines.  REUs – Research Experience for Undergrads – are opportunities for undergraduate students to spend the summer doing research at another university on a National Science Foundation-sponsored program. It’s a great way for students to see MSE outside their own university, and for universities to recruit the best and brightest students in the country for their graduate school programs.
Good luck, Jake.  Send photos from Colorado!

And, believe it or not, they still take classes fulltime!

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