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From Science to Engineering:
B.S./Ph.D. Student Naomi Hampson

Materials science and engineering is the engineering discipline known to be the bridge between the hard and applied sciences. Drexel materials students embody both aspects of the field in their varied backgrounds. Naomi Hampson (advisor: Surya Kalidindi) is no exception. Naomi came to Drexel from a dual physics and engineering program to be completed through West Chester University and Pennsylvania State University. Her first Drexel experience was participating in the DREAM: Drexel Research Experience in Advanced Materials program, a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

During the DREAM program, while working in the biomaterials lab of Dr. Michele Marcolongo, Associate Professor of MSE, Naomi soon realized that she was passionate about materials science and engineering and that Drexel was the ideal place for her to pursue this field. After completing the DREAM program, Naomi was given the opportunity to transfer to Drexel for her graduate studies—under the advisement of Department Head and Professor Dr. Surya Kalidindi—in materials science and engineering, while completing her undergraduate work simultaneously.

"Materials engineering covers so many different areas of engineering, from biomedical to metals processing and everything in between. This is what piqued my interest in materials engineering, and the program at Drexel encourages interdisciplinary projects, which further enhances its multi-dimensional quality," Naomi says.

Naomi's research focus at Drexel is the statistical study of bone as a material. Her project—a multi-college research activity—involves using the mathematical tools that she developed to study the linkages between the microscopic properties of bone and its macroscopic properties, as well as experimental tools. Naomi is certainly not shy about sharing this exciting research topic with others.

In addition to her work on her research, Naomi constantly strives to develop engaging and informative demos for existing and prospective MSE students. Her drive to spread her knowledge of materials to others has led her to become the director of the Drexel-hosted ASM International Materials Camp, and to take an active role in coordinating all aspects of the camp. She is also an active participant in Materials Monday during the Summer Engineering Experience at Drexel (SEED) high school camp and is involved with many other demos and outreach activities throughout the year. Now as a Ph.D. student, Naomi is mentoring a DREAM student of her own, and continues to spread the word about materials.

"When people think of engineering, they generally think about mechanical, chemical, or civil, and they have often never heard of materials engineering. I believe that it is important to let students know about this rapidly growing and exciting branch of engineering," she says.




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Last updated Friday, June 6, 2008