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Brie Witherspoon, Junior, Mechanical Engineering

My name is Brie Witherspoon and I have been apart of the WIMSE program since Fall 2004. At one of the weekly sessions during the fall 2004 semester, all the WIMSE participants were informed of a research experience program that WIMSE was sponsoring. The student had to find a professor in a field related to her major whom she would intern with during the fall and spring semesters, and would then be paid by the WIMSE program. I excitedly took advantage of this opportunity and became apart of the Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) program run by Dr. Peter Kalu of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

During the fall and spring semesters, I work with graduate students at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. The focus of my research has been using magnetic fields to reduce the amounts of retained austenite in SAE 52100 steel. I began by reading many articles on the SAE 52100 steel and magnetic processing. This provided me with a background on the material and processing to which I was to become accustomed. During the summer of 2005, I had an internship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Metals and Ceramics division. My team consisted of another engineering student and Dr. Kalu. We were able to use the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Optical Microscopy, and X-Ray Diffractometry to further analyze the data of which we had obtained. The final product was then presented at a formal poster presentation to the entire Oak Ridge staff.

This experience so far has been very rewarding and interesting. It helps me to better understand my class material, and at times, apply the knowledge I have obtained thus far. I look forward to continuing with Dr. Kalu and the WIMSE program.

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