Sammy ZellnerMaterials science and engineering graduate student, Sammy Zellner, recently won first place in the Society of Women Engineers 2018 Graduate Technical Poster Competition at the SWE Conference in Minneapolis, Minn. in October.

SWE hosts a collegiate poster competition every year at their conference for both undergraduate and graduate students. Finalists in the graduate category include students that are in MBA, master’s and Ph.D. programs across the country. Zellner received a travel stipend to attend the conference, and then received a cash prize for winning first place.

Zellner won for her senior design project, “Design of a Corrosion Measurement System for SiC,” that she worked on with UNT students Adam Cunningham and Tyler Hunt under their advisor Professor Rick Reidy.   

Zellner, who also completed her bachelor’s in materials science and engineering at UNT, has been actively involved in the SWE since 2014. She served as the UNT SWE event coordinator in 2015 to 2016 and the president from 2016 to 2018. Through SWE, she also founded the Brain STEM’s library program, which is an after-school program for elementary and middle school students at the Denton North Branch Library.

“My biggest accomplishment during my two years as UNT SWE section president is helping fundraise $10,000 to send over 30 members to four separate SWE conferences. I also coordinated the speakers for our general meetings, which provided professional development and networking opportunities for our general members,” Zellner said. “While my leadership experience isn’t directly tied to me winning the competition, my involvement in UNT SWE encouraged me to pursue involvement at the society level of SWE and submit an abstract for the poster competition.”

While at UNT, she has completed three internships with General Motors, working on advanced composite development and fixed glass. She also has been working as a research assistant in Professor Rajiv Mishra’s lab since November 2015.