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Creativity, Perseverance Mark Best Paper Contest Winners
By Lynne Robinson

News Article Image Posted on: 11/16/2010
Writing “Dynamic Recrystallization in Titanium Alloy TA-15: A Review” gave Daniel Bairos a chance to explore a potential career path while also “tackling a tricky but diversified metal like titanium.”

“From the start of my studies in materials science, I found myself driven towards aerospace materials,” Bairos, a junior in Materials Engineering at McGill University, said. “The application of the solid-state physics and physical metallurgy that is integral to the field has always intrigued me—I enjoy the challenges (and rewards) that come with the task of trying to understand the behavior and interactions of atoms.”

Daniel Bairos
While taking on a difficult challenge has its own rewards, Bairos’ efforts also yielded the added benefit of earning him a first-place award in the TMS Best Paper Contest, Undergraduate Division. “Winning this contest continues to motivate me in my studies,” he said. “It acknowledges that I am making progress in becoming an engineer and that I am capable of tackling future challenges.”

Noting that the most difficult aspect of preparing his award-winning work was “trying to fully grasp the concept of dynamic recrystallization,” Bairos said “My hope is that the topic of this paper relates greatly to my future, as I look forward to a career as an aerospace metallurgist. Certainly, the aerospace industry is one of the most demanding from a quality control perspective, and a comprehensive understanding of fabrication and wear of materials, such as metals and composites, is crucial to progress and innovation—especially towards lighter and more economic materials.”

While the topic of Lisa Deibler’s winning paper in the Graduate Division of the Best Paper Contest may not point to her life’s path, she noted, “I think the experience of planning and executing research will serve me well in the future.”

Lisa Deibler
A doctoral candidate at Case Western Reserve University, Deibler earned a second place nod in the competition for her paper, “A Physical Model for Fracture Surface Features in Metallic Glasses.” She said she was surprised when she was notified, because “This isn't hugely conventional material research, so I thought my chances of being selected were pretty slim.”

Deibler said the most challenging aspect of her research was measuring the viscosity of the greases at low temperature with a rheometer: “It was difficult and frustrating because the viscosity was really too high for the instrument and it took a lot of effort and time to just to get one point of data,” she said. “With the gracious help of some colleagues in the Macromolecular Engineering Department, we did manage to get the information.”

Despite these difficulties, Deibler said she enjoyed the research experience, particularly “coming up with crazy experiments to try to understand what's going on, such as performing the model experiments under a liquid.”

The TMS Best Paper Contest is open to all student members, with a cash prize of $1,000 to the first winner and $500 to the second place winner of each division. Students are encouraged to submit essays on global or national issues as well as technical research papers, relating to any field of metallurgy or materials science.

Bairos and Deibler, along with Shenyan Huang, University of Tennessee, who earned first place in the Graduate Division for “Effects of Al on the Creep Behavior and Microstructures in a (NiFe)Al Precipitate-Strengthened Ferritic Superalloy,” will receive their Best Paper awards at the TMS 2011 Annual Meeting, February 27 through March 3, 2011, in San Diego. To read their papers, as well as the papers of past winners, go to this link. For additional information on the competition, go to the TMS Best Paper Contest website

Lynne Robinson is a news and feature writer for TMS.

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