UCMA Lands Major Chapter Awards

graphicThe UConn chapter of Material Advantage (UCMA) received two international awards at the 2008 Materials Science & Technology Conference & Exhibition in Pittsburgh. The honors included one of only five Chapter of Excellence Awards, along with the World Materials Day Award. Three UCMA officers attended the conference: senior Salay Stannard, UCMA president, and graduate students Gregory Wrobel, vice president and Vincent Palumbo, treasurer. They were accompanied by Dr. Rainer Hebert, assistant professor of Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering, who advises the group.

Material Advantage is an international organization comprising students enrolled in materials science and engineering programs across 15 participating nations. The UCMA chapter has captured the prestigious Chapter of Excellence distinction for the second consecutive year. It is presented for exceptional programming, career development, service, social activities, and chapter management. The World Materials Day award recognizes the chapter’s outstanding efforts in K-12 education and outreach aimed at improving awareness of materials and their importance in everyday life. UCMA has captured the World Materials Day award every year since 2003.

Ms. Stannard, who delivered a presentation during the Material Advantage Student Leadership Workshop, accepted the awards on behalf of the chapter. Approximately 60 undergraduate and graduate students participate in UCMA.

Dr. Hebert, who advises the UConn chapter, said “I am extremely proud of our chapter for receiving the Material Advantage Chapter of Excellence award back-to-back and the World Materials Day award for the sixth year in a row. The Chapter of Excellence Award is all the more impressive since the four other chapters selected this year – for example, the chapters from Iowa State University and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – are anchored in Materials Science departments that have long traditions compared to our relatively young undergraduate program. I am convinced the awards will raise our profile among peer institutions and will greatly help our recruiting efforts.”

graphicMs. Stannard said the chapter participates in numerous outreach activities. “The School of Engineering provides us with so many wonderful opportunities as undergraduate and graduate students,” she said. “It is important to us that we show our appreciation for all the School provides us. Members of UCMA participate in a number of engineering events that allow us to interact with K-12 students, including the engineering Open House, Multiply Your Options, the Northeast Regional Science Bowl, E2K, and the Connecticut Invention Convention. Through each event our members encourage young minds to explore science and technology. We also visit local Connecticut schools to promote material science through our ‘roadshow’ demonstrations. These are a big hit with students of all ages and include shape memory alloys, fuel cell cars, fiber optics, and many more!”

She said the chapter is also actively involved with four professional and national affiliates: the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST), ASM International (ASM) and the American Ceramic Society (ACerS).