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College of Engineering students manufacture success at national, regional poster contests

May 3, 2011
Mike Matusky (left) and Joseph Vierthaler

Mike Matusky (left) and Joseph Vierthaler

Two College of Engineering and Engineering Technology students received monetary awards this month from the Chicago chapter of the American Society of Metals International (ASM). 

Both students submitted posters representing their work in material sciences and were awarded prize money for their research and service.

Mike Matusky, a graduate student pursuing an M.S. in mechanical engineering, also won $1,000 for the Student Volunteer Award. 

Matusky has served the ASM since 2009, promoting the association and exposing middle school children to engineering and science. He also works with high schools and volunteers at the ASM Teachers Camp, an opportunity for high school teachers to learn experiments and educational tools designed to keep kids interested in science and math.

He recently was awarded the 2010-2011 Outstanding Graduate Student Award from NIU as well.

For the third straight year, Matusky also won first place in the Masters Division Poster Contest for his poster titled, “Laser Assisted Machining of Ceramics.” Students display their posters and also present them to the board.

Matusky said he believes that his work with the ASM will pay off in his future. “For me, the ASM provides networking opportunities while I pursue my education at NIU. In the future, this will definitely help my professional career,” he said.

Undergraduate students also compete in the Bachelors Division Poster Contest.

Mechanical Engineering student Joseph Vierthaler took second place for his poster called “America Gear Manufacturers Association: Surface Temper Etch Inspection after Grinding.”

Vierthaler said he understands that serving professional associations while still in college will reap large rewards.

“This is my second time competing in the ASM Chicago Undergraduate Poster Competition, and both times I had a great time. I met a lot of very interesting engineers, and even received a few job offers through members of the society,” he said. “I think NIU engineers should be more involved in this great group, and plan on becoming a devoted member after I graduate.”

The ASM is a professional society for engineers working in the field of material science.

For students involved in affiliated chapters, the group provides networking opportunities and seeks to promote lifelong involvement by students in ASM and the materials community.