ASU sweeps the podium at 2019 Materials Bowl

June 13, 2019

Ten teams from Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering competed against five teams from the University of Arizona Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the 16th annual Materials Bowl in Tempe, Arizona.

The Materials Bowl is a senior capstone project and poster competition for Arizona materials science and engineering students sponsored by the ASM International Phoenix Chapter in which a jury of four industry professionals award the three top-ranked projects. The winning team receives the Materials Territorial Trophy. Members of the winning teams and mentors (from left: Pranvera Kolari, Benjamin Shindel, President’s Professor James Adams, Senior Research Specialist Shahriar Anwar, Austin Bennett, Brandon Houck, Andrew Black, Samantha Hom, Devin Hardy and Ariana Tse) pose with the Materials Territorial Trophy after winning the three top prizes at the 2019 Materials Bowl. Photograph courtesy of Shahriar Anwar Download Full Image

Teams of two to five students gave presentations to a panel of judges and were critiqued based on the quality of their projects and presentations.

“In the materials science and engineering capstone course we strive to give the students as much real-life experience as possible,” said Shahriar Anwar, a senior research specialist in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy.

This year, ASU teams took the top three prizes. The first-place team included Andrew Black, Devin Hardy, Samantha Hom and Ariana Tse. They took home the top prize of $1,000 and claimed the Materials Territorial Trophy for their project, “Redesigning Heat Treatment of Additively Manufactured AM355.”

In the project mentored by Honeywell, the team designed a heat treatment for additively manufactured AM355 stainless steel, which is used in the aerospace industry. They reduced processing time and costs while maintaining the material’s desired properties. The team achieved roughly 20% increased tensile strength (increased ability to be pulled apart without breaking) while reducing costs by 20% and direct treatment time by 50%.

The team of Austin Bennett and Brandon Houck earned the second-place prize of $700. Their project was titled “Design and Process Development of Natural Fiber Reinforced Bio-Composites.”

The duo developed a method of generating and testing a microbial harvested biocomposite that may be able to be used as a replacement for natural leather made from animal hide. They were able to achieve mechanical properties comparable to that of natural leather.

The third-place team featured Pranvera Kolari and Benjamin Shindel, who won a $300 prize for their project, “ConCreate: Design of an Additively Manufacturable and Sustainable Concrete Mix.”

The ConCreate team produced additively manufactured concrete that incorporated waste glass. The team claimed that their product would reduce both global carbon dioxide emissions and improve glass recycling while speeding up building construction using additive manufacturing techniques. The resulting product had similar mechanical properties to traditional concrete structures. 

The Materials Bowl competition helps showcase the caliber of materials science and engineering students to members of the local industry.

“The competition between ASU and UA generates real excitement and a competitive mindset toward excelling and taking pride in their projects,” Anwar said. “The presentations are made in a formal atmosphere similar to that of a scientific conference and affords an opportunity to our students to present to a diverse audience from academia and industry.”

Erik Wirtanen

Web content comm administrator, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering


ASU Enterprise Partners named a Top Company to Work for in Arizona for the sixth consecutive year

June 13, 2019

ASU Enterprise Partners was named one of 125 Top Companies to Work for in Arizona for the sixth consecutive year by Republic Media and the Arizona Commerce Authority for its leadership, work environment and employee satisfaction.

The chosen companies were evaluated through questionnaires sent to employees and employers on a variety of benchmark criteria. Then the firms are ranked based on their composite scores in each area. ASU Enterprise Partners President and CEO Rick Shangraw Jr. ASU Enterprise Partners’ President and CEO R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr. Download Full Image

ASU Enterprise Partners’ purpose is to raise resources that benefit students, researchers and programs contributing to Arizona State University’s impact in the world. To learn more about what makes ASU Enterprise Partners a top company, ASU Now turned to ASU Enterprise Partners President and CEO R.F. “Rick” Shangraw Jr. to discuss the importance of corporate culture.

Question: How do you define your organization’s culture?

Answer: Our culture is defined by our core values. We serve. We engage. We innovate. We care.

We serve. We are a service organization, and in addition to serving the university’s needs, many of us volunteer in our local community. We engage. We work hard to engage staff and communicate effectively through our intranet, emails and all-team meetings. We also work with employees to help establish their goals and set a path for success. We innovate. We are always open to new ideas from staff and incorporate as many of those as possible. Each month, I have lunch with new team members to learn more about them and discuss any suggestions they have to improve our workplace and culture. We care. All of our core values show that we care — about our colleagues, donors and community partners. I think we live these values at ASU Enterprise Partners. They are hardwired in our culture.

Q: What are a few things you have done to help create a culture that employees enjoy?

A: Creating culture takes time and isn’t easy, but we believe work should be fun. Throughout the year, we host many events that are focused on the engagement, appreciation and wellness of our employees. We have a salsa-tasting contest for Cinco de Mayo, an end-of-the-year movie event, pumpkin-carving and chili-tasting contests, “Bring Your Kid to Work Day,” complimentary onsite weekly yoga, a book club and much more. Ultimately, we hope to send a message that work needs to be productive, but our environment should also be enriching. We also show our appreciation to employees by giving everyone an additional paid day off for their birthday. And we recognize employees with “You Rock” cards, which can be redeemed for movie tickets and other prizes.

Q: How do you aid communication in your organization?

A: Communication is critical to an organization’s success, especially one in a service industry such as ours. Upon their hiring, each employee is asked to complete a DISC behavior assessment, which gives managers and fellow colleagues insight about how to best communicate with one another. In addition to focusing on effective team communication, we also conduct employee satisfaction surveys twice a year to ensure our employees feel heard and valued. We also actively communicate — both talking and listening — using a wide variety of other tools and forums. In the end, our most valuable asset will always be our team members, and active communication makes everyone more empowered to advance our mission.

Michelle Stermole

Director of communications, Enterprise Partners