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National Honors

A University of Dayton graduate engineering student and engineering professor recently earned national honors from the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering for their contributions to the field of composites and materials.

Rachel Rai won top prize for her master's thesis — "Synthesis and Characterization of Graphene-based Composites for Non-Linear Optical Applications" — at the society's University Research Symposium during the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo last month in Anaheim, California. Six judges from academia and industry evaluated presentations on delivery, originality, validity, technical content, and significance of the research to the field of science and engineering.

Rai, from the country of Lebanon where she received her undergraduate degree from the University of Balamand, came to the University for her master's studies through the University's Lebanese Outreach Program; her tuition was sponsored by the Samaha Family Scholarship. She currently is working toward a doctorate in chemical and materials engineering at the University on a Dayton-Area Graduate Studies Institute fellowship.

Also during the expo, SAMPE honored Tony Saliba, Wilke Distinguished Professor and dean emeritus, with the Mort Kushner Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on SAMPE's educational programs, which technical organizations have labeled "best-in-class" according to SAMPE. The award is presented to SAMPE members who have demonstrated sustained exceptional service to the society for many years. Since 1989, only 12 members have received the award.

This is the second SAMPE honor for Saliba. In 1998, SAMPE selected Saliba as a fellow for his distinguished contributions in the areas of advanced materials processing and the advancement of materials and process engineering education.

The University of Dayton is a national leader in materials research. It ranks second among all colleges and universities nationally for federally funded materials research and development, and third for all sponsored materials research and development.


News and Communications Staff