Alfred University News

Two Alfred University senior engineering students honored for co-op experiences

Two Alfred University engineering students were presented with awards Thursday, Oct. 7, recognizing them for work in their respective co-op experiences.

ALFRED, NY – Two Alfred University engineering students were presented with awards Thursday, Oct. 7, recognizing them for work in their respective co-op experiences.

Emelia Enke, a senior ceramic engineering science major from Alfred Station, NY, was presented with the McMahon Scholar Award, while Robert Safer, a senior mechanical engineering major from West Milford, NJ, was recognized with the Robert R. McComsey Career Development Center Outstanding Mechanical Engineering/Renewable Energy Engineering Co-op Award.

Gabrielle Gaustad ’04, dean of the Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University, presented Enke and Safer with their awards prior to Thursday’s John F. McMahon Memorial Lecture Thursday.

Enke is the daughter of Evan and Jennifer Enke, both alumni of Alfred University. Evan Enke earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science in 1995 and a master’s in professional studies in 1998; Jennifer Enke earned a master’s in education in 1995.

Emelia Enke was recognized for her co-op with Exothermics, Inc., in Amherst, NH, in the spring of 2021.  Exothermics is a maker of cost-effective, non-oxide ceramics, refractory metals and specialty thin film technologies for end use in aerospace/defense, semiconductor, and other niche markets.

“Emelia’s primary strengths relate to her work ethic and lab skills, which are truly beyond her years.  She also shows a high degree of initiative in her assigned work and required very little supervision once she has been tasked,” said Enke’s co-op supervisor at Exothermics, Steve DiPietro. “We have told Emelia many times that we would hire her in a millisecond upon graduation.  I would absolutely have no qualms about bringing her on here at Exo and have no doubt that she will be an important contributor to whatever field she works in. She is truly a special budding scientist and a tremendous person as well.  We are very sad to see her go!”

Safer, the son of Robert and Doreen Safer, was honored for his co-op at PCC Airfoils, LLC, in Wickliffe, OH, in the fall of 2020. PCC Airfoils is a worldwide manufacturer of complex metal components and products, serving a wide variety of industrial and aerospace applications.

“Rob is very driven for results.  We never had any issues where we needed to ask for tasks to be prioritized,” said Andy Bloom, Safer’s co-op supervisor at PCC Airfoils. “He always knew what was happening with a given task and completed them on scheduled. Robert did an excellent job of working with both engineering and manufacturing. Everyone who worked with Rob said he was great to work with.  Rob was a great asset to the Engineering Team during his rotating.  We are excited to have him back for 2021 summer rotation.”

Following the awards presentations, the McMahon Lecture was presented by William Carty, emeritus professor of ceramic engineering at Alfred University. The lecture was titled “It Starts with Ceramic Processing (‘Think like a particle’).”

Carty received the B.S. (1985) and M.S. (1987) degrees, both in ceramic engineering, from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri University of Science and Technology), and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Washington (Seattle, 1992). He held a one-year post-doctoral position at Koninklijke/Shell-Laboratorium in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, before joining the faculty at Alfred University in 1993. He achieved the rank of professor in 2002 and was appointed the John F. McMahon Professor of Ceramic Engineering in 2010. He was appointed chair of Ceramic Engineering in 2008 and chair of Glass Engineering Science in 2010, and served in those roles until 2019. Carty retired from teaching last December, but continues to conduct research and advise graduate students.

He was recognized for the quality of his teaching, receiving 11 teaching awards, including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2006).  He has advised 77 (plus six current) graduate student theses (nine Ph.D., plus three current, and 68 M.S., plus three current) and 172 undergraduate theses (plus three current), and was awarded the Alfred University Research Mentor Award in 2015.  He was named a NYSTAR Distinguished Professor in 2002 and received the SUNY Research and Scholarship Award in 2005.

Carty is an active member of the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) and was elevated to Fellow in 2000; he was awarded the Karl Schwartzwalder-Professional Achievement in Ceramic Engineering Award in 2002.  In 2015 he started the Manufacturing Division of ACerS and served as the first division chair, and currently serves as Counselor and as division representative to the Fellows Panel. He has authored or co-authored over 160 publications; holds 13 patents (plus six patents pending); and is an active consultant to the ceramic industry.

The John F. McMahon Memorial Lecture Award is presented annually to an outstanding ceramic engineer. The award was created by alumni in honor of the late John F. McMahon, an alumnus, a professor and finally, dean of what is now the Inamori School of Engineering.

Pictured in the photo above are, from left: Robert Safer, Robert R. McComsey Career Development Center Outstanding ME/REE Co-op Award winner; Emelia Enke, McMahon Scholar Award winner; Gabrielle Gaustad, dean of Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering; and 2021 McMahon Lecture Award honoree William Carty, emeritus professor of ceramic engineering at Alfred University.