The 2017 Harold Giles Scholarship award winners are Ms. Emma Adams and Mr. Benjamin Blandford.  Thirteen applications were received this year.  It is always a difficult job to select winners based on the many talented applications that the judges received.

Ms. Emma P. Adams - Undergraduate Student Winner
Ms. Emma P. Adams
Undergraduate Student Winner

Mr. Benjamin Blandford - Graduate Student Winner
Mr. Benjamin Blandford
Graduate Student Winner

Ms. Adams presently attends Auburn University and is expected to graduate in May of 2018 with dual degrees in Polymer & Fiber Engineering and Chemical Engineering.  Active in many societies including SPE, AICHE, Society of Women Engineers, Society of Hispanic Engineers—not to mention local Campus and Community groups such as STEM—Emma stood out amongst the other candidates.  In addition to reaching out beyond herself, Ms. Adams maintained a high GPA (3.8/4.0), performed nano-composite testing with a drug delivery system during her undergraduate research, and experienced composite processes such as pultrusion, filament winding, and CRTM when she worked at PolyOne Corporation.  Nothing has been handed to this candidate.  On the contrary, Ms. Adams has had to simultaneously work part time and taken out sizeable student loans to obtain her Bachelors of Science degree.  It is amazing under the circumstances and time restraints, that Ms. Adams regularly obtained the Dean’s list, is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, was nominated for the Phi Kappa Phi Susan Stacy Entrenkin Yates Award, and is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society.  The Composite Division Award Committee is delighted to augment her education costs with scholarship funding.  You’ll likely hear this candidates name again in whatever area she chooses to work from in the future.

Mr. Benjamin Blandford is pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Baylor University. As the president of the Baylor University SPE student Chapter his leadership skills paired with live composite equipment demonstrations and direct student contact sessions with nearby businesses have caused that chapter to receive several outstanding society recognized awards. In addition to his leadership in SPE, Ben is also a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Honor Council of Baylor University, and Kappa Sigma fraternity. With a high GPA (3.9/4.0) and various awards including the TPM&F scholarship, Baylor University Graduate School Fellowship Scholarship, and SPE Color and Appearance Division Endowment Scholarship, Ben has already made several marks in the plastic society world. His investigative work employs non-destructive testing techniques to manage reliability in carbon fiber and other composite components for the aircraft and automobile industries, and has presented his work at ANTEC and will be presenting his work at ACCE this fall. In addition to these outstanding achievements, Ben came up with answers quickly for a critical fracture mechanical problem, as demonstrated by his work with Delta-G Aerospace Design. Like Emma, Ben has also had to go deep into debt to obtain his degrees, and the Composite Division is pleased to help him in this endeavor. Benjamin Blandford displays a number of admirable traits that will take him far in his future endeavors.

The Composite Division will continue to offer the Harold Giles Scholarship to worthy candidates in the future; the scholarship was developed to honor the late Dr. Harold Giles, a past Composite Division Awards Chair.  As a former University Professor at the University of North Carolina, Azdel employee, and GE employee, Harold knew full well the value of scholarships to students.  He was always a proponent of awarding worthy students and served the society well in this capacity.  Harold would have been pleased to know that students like Emma Adams and Benjamin Blandford received this award.  So if you believe that you know of other worthy candidates, please apply in 2017.