[6/1/2010]--The Outstanding GSA Senator Award is given to a member of the graduate senate who is a strong advocate for his/her program, department, and/or student group. The 2010 recipient of this award is Mr. Christopher Cheng, who is a doctoral student in the Mechanical Engineering department and is the senate representative for the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Association. Mr. Cheng had been a member of the senate since 2007, where he has always provided great input on issues concerning graduate students and is very involved in GSA-sponsored activities. Also, as a part of MEGSA, he helped start the Annual Scientific Photography Competition (http://picasaweb.google.com/MEGSA.UMBC), which engages not only the graduate student community, but the university faculty and staff, as well.
Mr. Cheng is currently working on his Ph.D. degree under the supervision of his advisor Dr. Marc Zupan. His thesis research focuses on the Micromechanical Behavior of Friction Stir Welding of Titanium and Aluminum Alloys For Marine Structural Applications. Material alloying to achieve various design parameters is normally weakened or lost by the process of joining material components to create a structure utilizing conventional welding techniques. Friction stir welding is a solid-state welding method that minimizes degradation in alloying properties; with the novel technique of microsample testing and electron backscattered detection, the material evolution may be investigated.