TMS Press Releases


04/12 - Vanderbilt Researcher Named TMS/MRS 2012-2013 Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow

Patti Dobranski
Communication Specialist
The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society
Telephone: 800-759-4867, ext. 218 (U.S. and Canada only)
Direct: 724-814-3122

April 4, 2012 – Warrendale, PA – A Vanderbilt University materials science research associate has been selected as the 2012-2013 Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow – a program sponsored by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) and the Materials Research Society (MRS) to effectuate the use of materials knowledge in government and broaden awareness of the value of interaction between scientists, engineers, and government officials.
Andrew D. (Drew) Steigerwald, who earned his doctorate from Vanderbilt in Interdisciplinary Materials Science and Engineering in 2010 as a National Science Foundation IGERT fellow, will serve as the Congressional Science & Engineering Fellow in Washington, D.C., from September 2012 to August 2013.
The TMS/MRS Congressional Fellowship Program offers scientists at all stages of their careers the opportunity to spend a year as a special legislative assistant in the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. This fellowship program is affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellowships.
Edward Herderick, a former Congressional Fellow who served in 2009-2010 and a current member of the selection committee, said Steigerwald had the perfect blend of scientific background and political interest.
“We chose Andrew because of his strong technical background in materials and his demonstrated interest in joining the policy making process. I am personally very pleased at his selection as I am sure he will be an excellent fellow and representative for TMS,” he said.
As a fellow, Steigerwald will serve as staff aide for a member of Congress or congressional committee His duties may include legislative or oversight work, assisting in congressional hearings and debates, preparing briefs, and writing speeches. He will also attend an orientation program on congressional and executive operations, as well as a year-long seminar series in science and public policy.
Steigerwald said his interest in policy began when he was an undergraduate student at Ohio State University and a member of the student senate. Since then, he has participated in public-private research ventures, as well as in a symposium series hosted by Vanderbilt that focused on the role of scientists in government.
Through this fellowship, Steigerwald said he would like to learn more about the legislative process and enable lawmakers to make better policy decisions. “I’m specifically interested in energy policy, critical mineral and material strategy, broadening the scope of public-private R&D efforts, and advocacy for science education and funding. But, I look forward to working on a wide range of scientific and technical issues,” he said.
For more information on the program visit TMS’s Public and Governmental Affairs Resource Center web site. For more information about MRS, visit the website.
About TMS
TMS is the professional organization encompassing the entire range of materials science and engineering, from minerals processing and primary metals production to basic research and the advanced applications of materials. Included among its professional and student members are metallurgical and materials engineers, scientists, researchers, educators, and administrators from more than 70 countries on six continents. For more information on TMS visit

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