MSE Alumna Profile: Joanna Meador

Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
Class of: 2005 (B.S.)
Other Degrees: M.S. '07, Materials Science and Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Joanna Meador
Joanna Meador (B.S. '05)

We chatted with Joanna to learn more about her experiences at the University of Maryland, and find out what she's doing today.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Maryland?

I liked the anonymity that came with a large university like Maryland. By choosing a smaller major at a larger university, I was able to be familiar with my professors and yet always meet new students around campus.

Why did you decide to major in Materials Science and Engineering?

I chose Materials Science and Engineering because of the range in what you can do with it. It's a good mix of chemistry, physics, and math.

What was the best thing about majoring in MSE, or what was your favorite "MSE Experience"?

MSE provided me with many great opportunities for summer research experiences. I was able to work with 3 different professors and continue summer research into the school year. It helped me realize I wanted a career in research.

What was your favorite class, and why?

I really liked the Capstone course because it gave us the freedom to make decisions and learn from the mistakes that we made.

Were you involved in research, internships, conferences, or other activities while a student?

I was involved in multiple summer research experiences. I did REU, SURF, and part time research during the school year. I went to the MS&T [Materials Science & Technology] conference with the ASM [International, the Materials Information Society] student chapter and I was treasurer of the ASM student chapter. These opportunities were a great way to meet other kids interested in research and to network with other people in the field. It also helped me to understand a lot of what was involved in research.

What do you recommend students do or get involved in to have the best experience here?

I would recommend that students look into everything that comes their way to see if it's something they'd be interested in. Also, if you want to do research but are having trouble finding opportunities, talk to the faculty. They are all extremely helpful in getting you the information you need or sending you in the appropriate direction.

What have you been doing since you graduated? How have your engineering skills helped in your job or in other activities that you have been involved with since leaving Maryland?

I went to graduate school at Carnegie Mellon [University] immediately following my graduation from University of Maryland. I'm studying resistive switching materials for possible use in data storage applications. I received my Master's degree in Materials Science and Engineering in August of 2007 and I am currently working toward obtaining my Ph.D. The experimental work I did at Maryland helped prepare me for the work I'm doing now. It took very little time to get started on my graduate research since I had many of the laboratory skills required for it.