Materials Engineering Students Earn Industry Awards

SOCORRO, N.M. October 14, 2009 – Three materials engineering students earned scholarships from the Albuquerque chapter of ASM, the materials science and engineering society.

Anna Breiner receives a $1,000 scholarship from the ASM Albuquerque chapter at their September 22, 2009 meeting. She is pictured shaking hands with Doug Taylor, the Scholarship Chairman, and Somuri Prasad, the ASM Albuquerque Chapter Chairman.

Anna Breiner, a senior, and junior Robin Montoya, each won a $1,000 scholarship at the chapter’s September 22 meeting.

Master’s student Drew Prichard won second place in a poster contest and earned $100 for his efforts. He presented his poster at the Rio Grande Symposium on Advanced Materials on October 5.

Drew Prichard, master's student in materials engineering.

“There was a whole lot of really tough competition from other grad students and technologists, so I was surprised that I had gotten second place,” Prichard said. “I felt like I did really well, but some of the other posters were pretty intimidating.” 

Prichard’s poster, co-authored by professor Dr. Dave Burleigh, was titled, “Color-Stable, Tarnish-Resistant Copper Alloys.” Prichard used a tarnish chamber to measure the atmospheric resistance of various alloys. He then used electrochemical tests to determine corrosion rates of alloys immersed in sulfide electrolytes.

Prichard, a 2003 graduate of Belen High School, found that the alloys that performed best contained more than 17 percent zinc.

His future work with Burleigh will further refine the combination of metals that will produce an alloy that resists tarnish and maintains its color. His work was funded by the Copper Development Association.

Robin Montoya accepts a $1,000 scholarship from the Doug Taylor, the Scholarship Chairman for the Albuquerque chapter of ASM.

Montoya and Breiner wrote essays to accompany their scholarship bids. Montoya said she was excited and surprised that she won the scholarship. In addition to her full-time studies, Montoya is an undergraduate intern at Los Alamos National Laboratory during the summer. Along with her essay, Montoya also submitted letters of recommendation from professors Dr. Deidre Hirschfeld and Dr. Nikolai Kalugin.

Dr. Burleigh said he recommended Breiner because she is an exemplary student. She also completed a year abroad studying materials engineering at Växjö Universitet in Växjö, Sweden.

Dr. Deidre Hirschfeld wrote letters of recommendation for both Breiner and Montoya. She said both women represent the best of Tech students: they work hard and are academically strong.

“They are both fantastic students and wonderful young ladies,” Hirschfeld said.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech