Past Harmon Scholarship Winners


2018 Award Winner

A student at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Alino Te

2017 Award Winner

A student at Colorado State University
David Blondheim

2016 Award Winner

A student at the University of Northern Iowa 

Craig Ertl

2014 Award Winner

A student at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Sean M. Kelly

“Twin City Die Castings Company was extremely pleased to award Sean Kelly the Steven J. Harmon Memorial Scholarship to help continue his advanced education in the field of engineering and casting industry,” said Doug Harmon, CEO/owner, Twin City Die Casting.  


He continued, “His resume showed a true enthusiasm for manufacturing with work in everything from packaging and shipping to exposure in processing ceramic materials with the Glass Refractories and helping to develop new products while supporting manufacturing.  Most impressive is the work he is doing with a consortium of companies on recycling scrap aluminum requiring a single melt.”


Upon receiving the scholarship Sean said, “It is with great honor to accept the Steven J. Harmon Memorial award. First and foremost, I would like to thank the Twin City Die Castings review committee for selecting me. Opportunities like this, which enable one to continue to pursue academic and research related goals, increase motivation and the desire to make a difference in our world today. I am very appreciative of my adviser and mentor, Professor Diran Apelian, for without him none of this would be possible. I will continue to strive to achieve my goals in the die casting industry, as well as the metallurgical science and engineering field as a whole.”


Sean was asked to give an update on the project in die casting he is working on. Sean responded, “The future of metallurgical engineering, as it relates to the light-weighting of the transportation sector, is heading toward the use of aluminum and other lightweight metals to allow for energy conservation (i.e. gas economy) and the reduction of CO2 emissions. I am working on the characterization of scrap aluminum to optimize recycling processes as its represents an “ore” type that already has a significant amount of energy invested in its production, therefore its recovery and recycling is critical.”   


He continued, “The development of the Aluminum Integrated Minimill (AIM) is underway and is a recycling process that uses 100% aluminum scrap and manufactures a casting product at the end of its system. Such companies as GM, Nemak and Mercury are interested in the installation of this system’s technology to change the paradigm of the recycling industry.  I am looking into determine the alloy distribution and organic content within various scrap streams to allow for proper processing to produce the highest value secondary casting alloy. This characterization will begin within the next month.”


Upon graduation Sean is highly considering working within the die casting industry. The potential growth of his current AIM project to develop more sustainable materials for the die casting industry is enormous and he is excited to see how the development plays out.



2013 Award Winner

A doctoral student at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Shaymus W. Hudson

Shaymus W. Hudson received his undergraduate degree in materials science and engineering in June 2012 from MIT. His interest in metallurgy first began through blacksmithing. During his undergrad time, he gained hands-on experience in metalworking, heat treating and sand casting. He later learned that he had a passion for teaching and research. Through MIT’s Educational Studies Program, Hudson began teaching high school students on how to use a slide rule and lecture on materials science.

After graduation, Hudson began his metals-focused PH.D. Program in materials science at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). His current work focuses on the measurement and mitigation of quality detractors in molten aluminum. He has also been named foundry manager for the Ray H. Witt Metalcasting Center and has been a teaching assistant in an undergraduate course in physical metallurgy. Hudson’s future plans are to join the realm of academia and become a researcher in the metal processing field.



2011 Award Winner

A Graduate Student at the University of Michigan College of Engineering

Christopher W. Berry


Christopher W. Berry is a graduate student and research assistant at the University of Michigan College of Engineering. He received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering in December 2010 from the University of Michigan College of Engineering. His past experience includes an engineering internship at John Deere, a research assistant for the University of Michigan and a manufacturing intern at Die-Tech and Engineering Wyoming, MI.

Berry’s plan is to pursue a career in manufacturing engineering and die casting. He was exposed to the die casting industry very early through his parent's careers, and learned a great deal about industry-specific practices and sciences before attending college. Through his experiences at the University of Michigan, John Deere, and Die-Tech and Engineering, he feels he has gained an appreciation for the societal impact of manufacturing, and has become increasingly interested in the science and technology involved with the industry. Berry’s involvement with the Integrated Manufacturing Systems laboratory at UM has provided him with access to interesting research, discussions, and presentations regarding the advancement on manufacturing technologies and methodologies. His continued interest in these areas adds to his belief that he will find a career in manufacturing both fulfilling and exciting.

2009 Award Winner

A Ph.D. candidate in materials science at the Colorado School of Mines

William Garrett

Garrett earned a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering in 2003 and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2004, both from Washington State University. His experience includes a research and development position at Powdermet in Cleveland, OH, where he worked for three and a half years. After that, he began pursuing his Ph.D. at Colorado School of Mines.

His Ph.D. project is the development of aluminum-titanium carbide metal matrix composite die casting alloys. It is a goal with these alloys to match the mechanical and wear properties of cast iron and use them to manufacture lightweight, wear-resistant and structural vehicle components such as engine blocks and armor plating. The titanium carbide component of the composite material is added to an aluminum melt as pelletized titanium and carbon powders which are ignited by the heat of the aluminum melt. The intense heat from the titanium carbide reaction can be used to keep the melt hot, prior to a semi-solid die casting operation. The semi-solid slurry is then cast into billet shapes, which may then be tested for die casting performance at any number of industry-partner die casting foundries.

“My hope in finishing a Ph.D. in materials science is two-fold: I would like to develop better research and development skills and learn a new-to-me industrial process such as metalcasting,” said Garrett.

The recipient of the Steven J. Harmon Memorial Scholarship must be a United States or Canadian citizen, an enrolled student with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and must be accepted into a graduate engineering program at a U.S. accredited college or university. Preference is given to students in the programs of mechanical engineering, metallurgical engineering, industrial and systems engineering and electrical engineering.

2008 Award Winner

A Graduate Student at Missouri University of Science and Technology


Jared Teague

Jared Teague is a doctoral student and researcher at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Arkansas Tech University. He plans to become an engineering professor because of his passion for science and math. Teague feels that becoming a professor will provide him opportunities to conduct research that can help strengthen the United States industry. Teague also believes that by becoming a professor he can instruct and encourage other potential engineers to pursue a career in the metal casting industry.

"I hope for the chance to have a positive influence on student's lives similar to the influence my professors have had on me," Teague said.

Teague has held teaching assistant positions for the non-destructive testing lab, metals casting lab, and for a variety of manufacturing processes. Other experience includes past leadership positions with NJROTC and current service on the American Foundry Society 5I committee.

2007 Award Winner

A Graduate Student at the University of Iowa


Alex Monroe

Alex Monroe is a graduate student at the University of Iowa, where he is studying mechanical engineering. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in May of 2007 from the University of Iowa, where he earned a 3.77/4.0 GPA. His past experience includes a research assistant at the University of Iowa, an internship at the North American Die Casting Association and a   co-op at Eagle Alloy in Muskegon, MI.

Monroe’s career plan is to continue his engineering practice working in the die casting industry. Monroe was drawn to the die casting industry for many reasons. His father was heavily involved with steel casting, and since he enjoyed material-processing subjects so much in college, this encouraged him to pursue a focus in manufacturing and material processing. That focus was supported by his internships and co-ops in the metalcasting industry.

2006 Award Winner

A Manufacturing Engineer Student at Western Michigan University


Adil Abdelwahab

My extensive experience in metal casting and foundry operations has certainly solidified my love for this industry and my wishes to see it survive and flourish once again in the US. You may ask why I care about the state of manufacturing in the US: the reason I do is that I feel that I have gained so much knowledge and experience in this country and that it has been good to me. I consider it my obligation to repay the debt and help in any way I can. This scholarship would help me concentrate on my education and achieve the highest levels if honors, rather than the constant worry about my finances. Through honors and distinctions I may be able to reach many more people; educators and students alike and spread the knowledge I have gained while continuing to research in new technologies and methodologies that can help the foundry industry world wide.




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