Emily Proehl was selected as the 2020 recipient of the Kaufman CALPHAD Scholarship—a memorial award, supported by CALPHAD Inc. and the TMS Foundation, in recognition of the late Larry Kaufman for his contributions to computational thermodynamics and its applications. The recipient is a full-time undergraduate student who is majoring in metallurgical engineering, materials science and engineering, or minerals processing/extraction programs.
Since accepting the award, Proehl earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020 and began pursuing graduate studies. She deeply appreciates the support of the TMS Foundation and looks for ways to pay it forward by offering encouragement to other students, particularly women, in materials science and engineering.
Through the Materials Science and Engineering Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Proehl and her peers became TMS members and gained access to valuable benefits and educational materials. For example, her student organization hosted materials-themed networking events, such as Liquid Nitrogen Night, and a public exhibit at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Engineering Expo to demonstrate microwave casting and experiments with shape-memory alloys.
“The TMS Foundation impacted my career by enabling me to pursue an advanced degree in materials science and engineering with financial stability. With the generous Kaufman CALPHAD Scholarship award, I was able to confidently apply to and select the graduate school that most aligned with my goals and interests, while completing my undergraduate education.”
Proehl is now a Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she explores nuclear materials for potential as her area of research.
“I am most excited by the challenge, and corresponding potential, of materials to make nuclear energy a safe option for baseload energy generation. Overall, I aim to contribute to the sustainability of our global material world, and I look forward to increasing understanding of material behavior through graduate research,” Proehl said.
She is also a graduate research assistant and teaching assistant for the undergraduate course Principles and Processing of Ceramic Materials. The teaching opportunity builds upon her past work experience as a tutor.
“I strive to empower and encourage other students, especially other women, to pursue their curiosity in the field of materials science and engineering,” Proehl said. She enjoys sharing a passion for materials science and engineering that others passed on to her as an undergraduate student.
“Again, I would like to sincerely thank the TMS Foundation for their generous award,” Proehl said. “It enabled my pursuit of graduate education with financial stability, and I look forward to the opportunities it will enable in the future!”