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Sarah Straub ’16

Materials Engineering

Hometown: South Euclid, Ohio

Internships/Co-ops: During the summer of 2013, I was very lucky to be selected to intern at Honda R&D Americas. My experience there was unlike anything I could have imagined. As an intern of the Chemical Group, my projects focused on corrosion, adhesives, and paints. Along with assorted testing responsibilities, my group leader delegated to me a project to investigate the curing mechanism of wind shield adhesives. This study, which I was lucky to own from start to end, turned out successfully and I had the opportunity to present my findings to the supplier of the material. My other main project was a study that involved an electrochemical corrosion investigation of chrome. It was during this project, that I recognized my interest in metals and corrosion engineering. I developed very useful skills in experimental design, test matrix development, experimentation methods and data analysis. More important than what I learned from materials research, however, was what I learned about myself by living on my own in a new and unfamiliar place. There is no question that I had a great experience and that I grew a great deal over what seemed to be a very short summer. I know that I never would have had this amazing opportunity if it was not for choosing to come to RPI.

Research: I looked into joining a research group after the summer of my internship. The group I am now in focuses on electrochemical studies of corrosion and battery mechanisms.

Activities: I have had the great opportunity to serve on the Executive Boards of Material Advantage and the Society of Women Engineers. As a member of these groups I have attended national and international conferences, enjoyed networking and social activities and gotten involved in education outreach where I help to teach younger students about STEM topics. I also founded a new student chapter of the Electrochemical Society on the RPI campus. Finally, I am a mentor and a mentee of the Women’s Mentoring Program through which I have made several special connections.

Favorite class: Mechanical Properties of Engineering Materials, it is an interesting class with plenty of challenging, hands-on laboratory activities.

Favorite thing to do in Troy: Whenever I have time on a Saturday, I love taking a trip down to the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market with my friends.

Anything else to share? My experience at RPI has been a proven to be a wonderful adventure!

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