PULLMAN, Wash.–Washington State University materials science students recently learned about bringing life from the ashes.
WSU’s student chapter of the joint American Society of Materials/The Materials Society (ASM/TMS) won one of the five Chapter of Excellence awards chosen from 50 chapters across the country at the ASM Annual Meeting in Indianapolis mid-September. The award will be formally presented at the TMS Annual Meeting in San Antonio in February.
Also presented at the ASM Annual Meeting was an award to WSU graduate student Kalyanasundaram Kannan with Professor Howard Hamilton for the Best ASM International Graduate Student Paper, explaining how much stretching to expect in superplastic (aluminum) alloys with microscopic defects before the material fails.
The chapter officers during 1996-97, the period in which the award was judged, were David Jungk, president; Alan Brown, vice-president; and Tracy Tate, secretary-treasurer. Jungk, who was named the College of Engineering and Architecture’s Outstanding Junior last spring, also received a $5,000 George A. Roberts Scholarship from ASM. This prestigious award is made to only seven MSE undergraduates in the country.
“Last year our chapter of ASM/TMS basically started from scratch,” says Becky Grasher, the club’s current secretary-treasurer. “We had only six members and the club was on the brink of becoming inactive. It was up to the officers to get the club up and running. So, President Dave Jungk, Vice President Alan Brown and Secretary/Treasurer Tracy Tate organized many events that students could attend and personally recruited people from their classes to join the group.”
For the national organization’s membership drive week, the club sponsored “Materials Spirit Week,” promoting activities along the themes of Metals Day, Polymers Day, Ceramics Day, Composites Day and Semi-conductors Day. Some of the activities were “ceramics poetry,” modelling chains of polymers with colored balloons, limbo dancing for Composites Day, and bringing in a mobile forge to demonstrate sword-making for Metals Day.
The WSU club’s membership increased from 6 to 21, giving it the highest increase in national membership. It also took first place for the most creative program.
Other ASM/TMS activities included helping with the College of Engineering and Architecture career fair, designing one of the largest selling T-shirts at the College — “Absolut Engineering . . . Absolut WSU . . . Absolut Intelligence” — and adopting a one-mile section of the Palouse highway to keep clean. It brings in speakers about materials and other topics of interest, and takes field trips such as the visit to Fairchild Airforce Base to examine materials aboard some of the airplanes.
Some of the club’s social events were mountain biking, rafting and ski trips, a Monte Carlo Night, a party for a departing faculty adviser, student game nights at faculty adviser Grant Norton’s home, and a college-wide volleyball tournament.
The tradition continues this year as the club recruited another 11 members, and featured Materials Science Jeopardy, Polymer Slingshot Contest, Ceramic Pictionary, Phase Diagram Drawing Competition and the Edible Composite Beam for their Materials Science and Engineering Pentathlon Week, Oct. 13-17. This year’s president is Karl Palm, and vice-president is Joe Rice.
“The efforts of David, Alan and Tracy last year revitalized our ASM/TMS student chapter and created a ‘feel-good factor’ in the school that now attracts other students,” said adviser Grant Norton. “The atmosphere of pride and success has been created in MSE.”

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Contacts: David Jungk 334-2730; Grant Norton, adviser, 335-4207