The Refractories Institute (TRI) announces three recipients of 2019 scholarships

TRI (The Refractories Institute) just announced the three recipients of this year’s scholarships for college students who are pursuing an education related to refractory science. TRI, comprising approximately 50 member companies that operate in the refractory industry, awards scholarships annually. This year’s recipients are Luke Hanner, Drexel University; Sharon Uwanyuze, University of Connecticut; and Somnath Mandal, University of California, Irvine.

The academic scholarships are awarded by TRI’s scholarship committee and are distributed to each student as a one-time grant of $5,000. To be eligible, students must be currently in pursuit of a degree (undergraduate or graduate) in materials science, ceramic engineering, or similar disciplines. Students must be enrolled full-time at a North American college or university. Scholarships are awarded to a limited number of students each year and are based on academic merit and the student’s interest and experience in the field of refractories.

Hanner is pursuing a B.S./M.S. in Materials Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa., through its accelerated degree program, which includes advanced courses in ceramics, high-temperature materials, and process metallurgy. As a freshman he participated in a selective program called “Students Tackling Advanced Research” (STAR) and has so far participated in two six-month co-ops as part of his undergraduate work: one at the Army Research Laboratories at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds and one at Solvay. In 2018 he published “Dynamic hardness of cemented tungsten carbides” in the International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials.

Uwanyuze is pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. She earned a B.S. in Materials Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is currently a graduate research assistant at the University of Connecticut with a specific interest titanium alloys, working to investigate their high temperature interface reactions with refractory ceramics and using diffusion couples to analyze corrosion and kinetics during melting to aid in designing appropriate refractories. She was named Outstanding Undergraduate Student Engineer in Materials and Science Engineering for 2017.

Mandal is pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, and also has two years’ experience in the refractory industry. He earned a B.S. in Ceramic Technology from the Government College of Engineering & Ceramic Technology in Kolkata, India, and an M.S. in Ceramic Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) in Varanasi, India. He has published “Microstructure and phase evolution of Indian magnesite-derived MgAl2O4 as a function of stoichiometry and ZrO2 doping” in the International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology and presented at seven conferences/symposia in India, Europe, and the U.S.