Five seniors recognized for mechanical, nuclear engineering achievements

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering held its spring Senior Recognition Reception and Banquet to honor its outstanding mechanical and nuclear engineering students. Eric Marsh, associate head of undergraduate programs, mechanical and nuclear engineering, coordinated the event to recognize high achieving seniors in the department. Karen Thole, department head, mechanical and nuclear engineering, and Arthur Motta, program chair, nuclear engineering, presented awards to five students for their exceptional achievements. The guest speaker at the event was Alan Thrift, Penn State alumnus and winner of the Penn State Mechanical Engineering Alumni Society 2016 Early Career Award.

The following students were recognized for their academic, research and leadership accomplishments:

Michael Trowbridge received the Boeing Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Junior Award for his excellent scholastics as well as his interest in the aerospace industry. Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company, supports this award to foster their tradition of leadership and innovation in the aerospace industry. Trowbridge, a Schreyer Scholar, is an international programs co-leader for Engineers Without Borders. He has received many scholarships and awards, including the Lashley Scholarship in Engineering, the Evan Pugh Award, the Spark’s Award, and the President’s Freshman Award. Trowbridge worked as an undergraduate researcher at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) through the Distinguished Undergraduate Research Program. After graduation, Trowbridge will work as a structural analysis engineer intern at Boeing Defense and Security through the Engineering Accelerated Hiring Initiative Program.

Melissa Shallcross received the Thomas Briggs Hunter Memorial Award for Student Leadership for her outstanding leadership qualities, volunteer spirit, and citizenship directed into programs that have positively influenced the department, college, University and community. The award is named for Thomas Hunter, a mechanical engineering graduate student at Penn State from 1988 to 1994, who was a leader in volunteering. Shallcross, a Schreyer Scholar, is a member of the Penn State Society of Women Engineers, an Engineering Ambassador and part of the Women in Engineering Program Orientation leadership team. In 2013, she was awarded a Girl Scout Gold Award. Shallcross has worked on research projects in the Penn State Experimental and Computational Convection Laboratory and the Brite Lab. Shallcross completed two internships with Pratt and Whitney. She plans to return to Pratt and Whitney as a structures intern this summer and then pursue a graduate degree.    

Shawn Siroka received the Dr. John P. Karidis Department Head’s Award for Research Achievement in Mechanical Engineering for making important contributions in forwarding research in mechanical engineering. The initial award was endowed through a gift from John P. Karidis, a 1983 mechanical engineering alumnus. Friends and family members continue to make contributions in honor of Karidis to recognize the impact of his life. As a Shuman Scholar, Siroka had the opportunity to work on research projects in the Experimental and Computational Convection Laboratory and the Steady Thermal Aero Research Turbine Laboratory. Siroka was also a supply logistics captain and a hospitality captain for THON, an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Experiences (Utree) teaching mentor and a teaching intern for M E 340. He was named a National Association for Nuclear Training Scholar. Siroka completed an internship with PPL Susquehanna. After graduation, he plans to intern with Pratt and Whitney in their turbine aero group and then pursue a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering.   

Travis Smith received the Beecher Loftus Leadership and Service in Nuclear Engineering Award for his excellence in leadership and service in the field of nuclear engineering. This award was endowed through a gift from Patricia Beecher Loftus, a 1975 nuclear engineering alumna. Smith is the secretary of the Penn State chapter of the American Nuclear Society. He is a member of the nuclear engineering honor society Alpha Nu Sigma and the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi. Smith had the opportunity to work on research projects in the Intense Laser Laboratory and with the Reactor Dynamics and Fuel Management Group. After graduation, Smith will join the Nuclear Operations Program at Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation's Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory (KAPL).

Jacob Hirschhorn received the John Brennan Excellence in Nuclear Engineering Award for his academic excellence. This award was endowed through a gift from John J. Brennan, a 1696 nuclear engineering alumnus. Hirschhorn, a Schreyer Scholar, was a member of the Graham Entrepreneurial Leadership Program from 2013-14. Currently, he is a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society. He was a Gateway Scholar at Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College and was awarded the Evan Pugh Scholar Award. As a Toshiba-Westinghouse Scholar, Hirschhorn had the opportunity to work on two research projects — Magnetohydrodynamic Boundary Layer Modeling and Modeling of Liquid Sodium Flow in Reactor Cores. Hirschhorn completed an internship at Tekgard Inc. and was a Toshiba-Westinghouse Undergraduate Fellow. After graduation, Hirschhorn plans to pursue a doctorate degree in nuclear engineering at Penn State.

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Last Updated March 30, 2016