2017 Scholarship Winners Named

MTI is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of the Bert Krisher Memorial Scholarship. The Scholarship Committee selected two candidates to each receive a $5,000 academic scholarship award, and the students will be invited to attend one of the upcoming TAC meetings as honored guests. Congratulations to Linsey Grzeschik and Ashley McKenna for being chosen to receive this award!

Linsey Grzeschik
Grzeschik is a junior at the University of Akron pursuing a degree in corrosion engineering. Although she initially wanted to study chemical engineering, Grzeschik quickly discovered that she was a perfect fit for the corrosion engineering program. Her particular areas of interest include metallurgy and material selection.

“I began work in Dr. Scott Lillard’s lab as a freshman on an Alloy 9310 and Monel galvanic corrosion project,” she explains. “For the last three years, I have worked in the lab running exposure tests, conducting microscope scans, and analyzing scientific papers.”

The skills she developed throughout her time in the lab benefited her during co-ops with BP where she worked on projects related to High Temperature Hydrogen Attack, Amine Corrosion, Ammonia Stress Corrosion Cracking, and Naphthenic Acid Attack.  

Another area of interest for the future engineer is computer programming, which lead her to create a program for BP that allows work order information to automatically generate to an inspector when remote thickness monitors need a battery replacement.  

“This system is something I created entirely on my own through VBA,” Grzeschik proudly notes. “It increases refinery integrity by ensuring that the sensors are all working and collecting data, improves reliability since there are hundreds of sensors that need to be monitored, and boosts profitability by reducing the amount of man-hours needed to upkeep the old system.”  

After graduation, Grzeschik hopes to secure a job in the Oil and Gas Industry, or says she might consider graduate school as an alternate option.


Ashley McKenna
McKenna is a junior studying materials engineering at Iowa State University with a special interest in metals and a minor in non-destructive evaluation (NDE).

After graduating high school, McKenna admits she was considering a degree in mechanical or chemical engineering, but didn’t make her final decision to declare materials engineering until a few weeks before her first semester of college.

“For me, materials engineering was the perfect combination of science disciplines,” she says. “I have always loved figuring out how things work, so learning about how every material around me works, why it works, and how it could work better is amazing. I think that will be something that continues to engage me and that is also why I’m excited to be pursuing a career in this field.”

Her special interest in metals was a recent decision, and she notes that one of the biggest factors influencing her choice came from a summer internship with Alcoa Howmet (now Arconic), where they produce both titanium and super alloy parts by investment casting.

“I worked in the Technical Services portion of the Research Center and as a result was exposed to a wide variety of projects, including working with the non-destructive evaluation group,” McKenna explains. “As I am also pursuing a minor in non-destructive evaluation, it was a great fit, and showed me that a combination of materials science and NDE can be quite valuable.”

As for the future of this soon-to-be engineer, she is ready to graduate in May 2018. McKenna notes that she would like to continue her materials science education in graduate school, but hasn’t ruled out working in the industry for a few years first.