Innovative research by Central State University graduates wins first place in Midwest SAMPE contest

By Alissa Paolella, Communications Manager
Posted Jun 13 2024
three central state university female engineering majors and student researchers

Above, L-R: Recent Central State University graduates Myesha Burnett, Shawntae Thompson, and Baijing Zinnerman won first place in the SAMPE Student Competition. 

Three recent graduates from Central State University, Myesha Burnette, Shawntae Thompson, and Baijing Zinnerman, have clinched a top prize for their groundbreaking research in material and process engineering. Their achievement was recognized at the Midwest Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) Student Competition, where they presented their innovative work. 

Over a span of two years, Burnette and Thompson, under the mentorship of Alessandro Rengan, Ph.D., an associate professor of Manufacturing Engineering, dedicated themselves to their research project. Zinnerman also made significant contributions, particularly in the final two months of the project. Their collaborative effort resulted in a comprehensive 12-page, peer-reviewed paper, with Dr. Rengan leading the authorship, exploring the team's investigation into carbon fiber-reinforced polymer-metal bonding and hybrid fiber-reinforced polymer-metal bonding to aluminum. This research comes at a crucial time, considering the burgeoning global electric vehicle industry. 

The focus of their research was on a pivotal aspect of polymer composite bonding to metal, with the goal of achieving a bond that is both lightweight and durable. Through experimentation with lightweight aluminum, the team discovered an exceptionally strong bond between the polymer composite and metal. This finding carries promising implications for the future of materials used in electric vehicles, offering the potential for lighter yet resilient components, which are essential for enhancing the efficiency and performance of electric vehicles. 

Read more via Black Enterprise.