Undergraduate Spotlights

"The reason we’re at a university is to interact with students. Inspiring students is a huge part of our mission."

MSE Professor Beth Opila

Here's what some of our students have to say about their experience with MSE:

  • Thomas Domer

    Thomas Domer

    Class of 2024

    I chose MSE as my major because I see myself being concerned with how things are made in the future. A truly sustainable future means being concerned with how things are made and what happens over and after their entire lifetime because the materials and design decide the ability to maintain and replace our technology. It is too early to say exactly what I will end up doing, but I can say the future will be with how we use our materials.

  • Trevor Eggleston

    Trevor Eggleston

    Class of 2024

    Materials science as a field of study is made even more attractive by the fact that it is one of the primary foundations by which technology advances. There are many opportunities for an individual researcher or team of researchers to leave their mark in history. I wish to specialize and research metal additive manufacturing, an emerging technology that will be of great importance for prototyping and manufacturing specialized parts locally.

  • Emma Laubengayer

    Emma Laubengayer

    Class of 2024

    Heading into my first year of UVA, MSE felt right. Rather than taking a process and turning it into an easily scalable operation, I can tackle how to improve or manipulate a substance to better suit its proposed purpose. MSE helps connect my inherent curiosity when it comes to human innovation and our progress to the present to my inherent drive when it comes to my education.

  • Alex Uy

    Alex Uy

    Class of 2024

    Materials science helps us understand the natural intricacies of our world and how we can use them to serve others. There are no bounds to MSE. It is constantly advancing in numerous directions and I want to see how the field can utilize me to shape the future. We have not put all the puzzle pieces together of the world we live in and I want to be a part of the worldwide enlightenment this field brings.

  • John Emery

    John Emery

    Class of 2023

    Growing up, there was never any doubt that I was going to be an engineer. I told myself that computer science would be a natural fit. I took Introduction to Materials Science to fulfill a requirement and it soon became my favorite. I eventually admitted that I much prefer looking at stress-strain curves than a Java terminal screen. I took another MSE course this semester. Once again, it is my favorite class. I have made the switch.

  • Ben Kuster

    Ben Kuster

    Class of 2023

    I always knew I wanted to change the world. When I would visit a friend’s house my dad would tell me to leave it better than I found it, and that mentality carried over into my larger aspirations. I want to make people’s lives better and MSE will help me do that. I love talking to the graduate TAs about the insanely specific branches of the field they are exploring—it makes me excited for my own future projects.

  • Victor Villanueva

    Victor Villanueva

    Class of 2023

    The whole point of engineering is to find a problem in society and then fix it. If I can learn what makes materials weaker and work to improve them, then I can do my part to help. I am especially interested sustainability, as keeping the Earth healthy for future generations is important to me, and defense applications, so that soldiers and their equipment can be better protected as they defend this country.

  • Alex Wang

    Alex Wang

    Class of 2023

    As I begin preparing for classes, I sit down at my ordinary desk. Not only does the shape of the desk need to be carefully considered, but also the different woods and metals holding it together. Does metal corrosion need to be considered? What made the materials affordable? A close analysis of any single material of the desk spirals into that material’s history, structure or properties, yielding a lifetime’s worth of innovation.

Sharing our Undergraduates' Success