David Barry, Jr.

University of Massachusetts Lowell

A senior at the Francis College of Engineering/Honors College, David anticipates graduating with a Bachelors of Plastics Engineering degree in Spring 2021. He is a member of the Dean’s List, and the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honors Society, whose members are in the top four percent of the College.

David has experience as a research assistant on two teams: one which worked to recycle a natural polymer, chitin, into lucrative byproducts, and another that worked to implement closed-loop process control into the FFF 3D printing apparatus. During the summer of 2020, he interned at SMC, Ltd, where he learned about injection molding machines, new process development, mold maintenance, and mold design. During the Fall of 2019, David interned at the Haartz Corporation, where he learned about tooling design, new material development, additive compounding, and twin-screw extrusion.

In January 2020, David co-founded UML3D, the university’s first 3D printing club where he currently serves as co-president. His club led a massive fundraiser that funded a club-wide marathon of producing thousands of articles of PPE for local nurses, special education teachers, and other essential workers. They recently upgraded their designs using laser cutting to create higher quality face shields using extruded sheets of polycarbonate instead of their previous design of vinyl.

David is a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), the New England Rubber and Plastics Group (NERPG), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the ACS Rubber Division. He is also a youth soccer high school league coach and a UMass Lowell Intramural Sports Team Captain (Soccer, Frisbee, Handball, Volleyball, Basketball).

David’s extracurricular engineering projects have been driven by his interest in 3D printing. He currently owns two printers: a Prusa i3 Mk3 and an Anycubic Photon. David has developed a series of open-source assistive devices for his cousin, which included adaptive Xbox controllers and simple prosthetics that form a specific purpose. He is currently designing complex exoskeleton prosthetics that will utilize the user’s own hand and fingers while running on input signals. David has a design that uses a keypad and is currently working on one that will use a brain-computer interface.

Antonia Chin

Kettering University

Antonia is a senior studying chemical engineering at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. She is completing her thesis, conducting research on plasticizers. Antonia first encountered the coatings industry through a co-op with BASF where she assessed paint quality on automobiles. After observing the myriad of things that can go wrong with the final product, Antonia wanted to learn more and interned at PPG in the dispersions and pigments evaluation lab. During her time there, she worked on U.S. Department of Energy test models for dispersion quality using different resin technology. This experience has fueled her desire to become a coatings engineer.

At Kettering, Antonia serves as the vice president of Student Government and president of the International Club, and has held various leadership roles in the Plastics Engineering Club. Last year, Antonia participated in the 2018 SPE Thermoforming Conference RC Car Race Competition.

Laryssa Meyer

University of Wisconsin – Stout

Laryssa is a senior studying plastics engineering, and she plans to graduate in December 2020. She has served as president of the SPE and SWE (Society of Women Engineers) student chapters since May 2018.

Laryssa held three internships with Medtronic: two in an operations environment with the third completed in a materials research and development group. During the summer of 2020, she worked as a virtual intern, researching sustainable packaging materials for current and future packaging assemblies. Laryssa developed action plans to implement material alternatives for future packaging components and facilitated national communication between packaging teams for project coordination and planning.

During her second internship, Laryssa worked as a feedthroughs intern in a manufacturing facility. She developed value stream maps for the use of precious metals to identify improvement projects and cost savings opportunities. She also coordinated and facilitated Kaizen events and promoted continuous improvement principles and the use of lean manufacturing tools to operators on the first and second shifts. Laryssa also developed a new precious metals reclaim procedure to reduce operational costs and scrap.

During her first internship with Medtronic, Laryssa worked as an injection molding intern, where her main project involved increasing capacity on an injection molding press by an additional eight hours per week by qualifying a duplicate mold for production. Her efforts also reduced overtime labor costs by at least $30K annually by cross qualifying a mold to increase manufacturing flexibility. In addition, she led confirmation runs on a molding press to enable cross-qualifications resulting in increased labor efficiency.

At the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Laryssa worked as injection molding and thermoforming research assistants. As a thermoforming research assistant, Laryssa conducted several DOEs to determine optimal thermoforming conditions for multi-layer co-extruded films. She normalized heating time per micron required for varying film thicknesses to determine heat times for films and verified heat transfer calculations by using a professional thermal imaging camera to record films as they reached and exceeded their glass transition temperatures.
Laryssa also served as a manufacturing team member with 3M Fall Protection where she was responsible for coordinating cross-functional team involvement to assemble a variety of fall protection systems across several departments.

Lexington Peterson

Pittsburg State University

Lexington Peterson is a senior at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. She is a double-major in plastics engineering technology and polymer chemistry.

During the summer of 2020, Lexington was employed as a Process Engineer Intern at iMFLUX, a subsidiary of Procter and Gamble. During the school year, Lexington is actively involved in the Society of Plastics Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, American Chemical Society, Honors College Association, Student Government Association, Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, Panhellenic Council, Advancement Ambassadors, Phi Kappa Phi, and the Student Sustainability Fund Committee.

Sidney Trunzo

Pennsylvania College of Technology

Sidney is a senior studying for a B.S. in plastics and polymer engineering and technology with minors in business administration and marketing. She has an overall GPA of 4.0, and expects to graduate in May 2021. Sidney has been on the Dean’s List since December 2017, and a member of the Alpha Chi Honors Society since April 2019.

During the summer of 2019, Sidney was a process engineer intern at Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials where she worked with engineering plastics in compression molding and in ram extrusion and gained experience with SolidWorks. Prior to that, Sidney gained working experience with FTIR, DSC, TGA, microhardness testing, and other equipment as a materials engineer intern at Case New Holland Industrial. She also conducted material identification and failure analysis of plastics, elastomers and paints, and completed reports on her findings.

In addition to her academic achievements, Sidney is a student member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, a THON Board Member, and a former NCAA Division III Cross-Country Athlete. She was also a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee from 2017-2019, and was previously named Penn College Athlete of the Week and Northeastern Athletic Conference Runner of the Week. Active in the Penn College community, Sidney is a research assistant at the Plastics Innovation and Resource Center (PIRC), and a fitness center student assistant.