Undergraduate Research Assistant Kazuki Watanabe Receives CPMT Scholarship

     The Clayton Family Scholarship for Studies in Powder Metallurgy was created in 2000 and is awarded annually to 5 universities. Recently, Loewy Institute undergraduate researcher Kazuki Watanabe was notified that he would be one of the recipients of the 2021 CPMT scholarship.

     We spoke with Kazuki about the CPMT scholarship process, his interests in and experiences with powder metallurgy, and his future plans. Please join us in congratulating him!

First off, congratulations on receiving a Clayton Family Scholarship for Studies in Powder Metallurgy, Kazuki! Could you tell us a bit about yourself, about the CPMT scholarship and its application process, and what the focus of your research with The Loewy Institute is?
I’m an undergraduate student at Lehigh University majoring in Material Science and Engineering. During this summer, I had an opportunity to work for the Loewy Institute to get more experience in metallurgic sample preparation and microstructure image scanning. During that time, I got an offer to apply for the CPMT scholarship so I took that opportunity as my current research relates to conducting tests on 3d printed aluminum alloys.

What applications of powder metallurgy are especially of interest to you?
I was very interested in the application of power metallurgy where it was being used for testing purposes because it can be used to easily create very precise parts with different materials.

What coursework at Lehigh has been particularly helpful in contributing to your understanding of powder metallurgy?
The Materials Laboratory 010 course and Materials and Processes 033 were helpful in understanding powder metallurgy as it covers crystal structures, phase diagrams, and grain formation which are necessary to understand material formation.

Have you thought about what you would like to do after completion of your undergraduate degree in Materials Science & Engineering here at Lehigh?
Although I’m not fully decided if I want to pursue a higher degree or try to get experience in the industry, I know I want to work in the field of Material Science.

It has been a difficult and unconventional past two years–how have learning and completing research been affected?
I did struggle to adjust to the different environment and learning styles in some classes but I was able to conduct laboratory research in person which was great because I can’t imagine getting the same experience any other way.

Are there any upcoming conferences or presentations that you will be taking part in (PM-related or otherwise)?
I am considering going to the Powdermet conference to get experience and make connections with individuals pursuing the field.

What’s one piece of advice you would have for someone interested in pursuing a degree in Materials Science & Engineering?
I would say that the best way to learn the subject is through directly conducting experiments and matching it with what is taught in textbooks as it creates a much more solid foundation to understand the content.

Any person / people / group you would like to say “thank you” to?
I want to thank everyone in the Loewy Institute for warmly welcoming me and giving me amazing research opportunities. I especially want to thank Professor Misiolek for letting me join the Loewy Institute as he gave me many opportunities for research and advice on what I should do to better myself in this field. I also wanted to thank Michael as he spent lots of time teaching me how to operate the devices and programs for metallurgic sample preparation and examination. Lastly, I wanted to thank the Center for Powder Metallurgy Technology and the Clayton Family Scholarship for Studies in Powder Metallurgy for awarding me this scholarship as it would greatly help me focus on my academic