July 29, 2022 Graduate student receives largest ever SPE scholarship Written By: Caitlin Scott Departments: Mechanical Engineering Categories Awards|Graduate|Students Mechanical Engineering graduate student Allen Román received the Society of Plastics Engineering (SPE) Donald McCoy Education Scholarship. This scholarship is put together by Underground Devices Inc., the SPE Chicago Section, and the SPE Chicago Educational Foundation. The award was given to Román for demonstrating great research ability and for his community service. Román’s research primarily involves implementing machine learning within polymer science, specifically in material development and in a recently submitted patent for a self-correcting 3D printer. Merging both machine learning and polymer science allows for the optimization of various polymer processing technologies, ultimately saving industry time and money. His passion projects also include the material characterization of natural rubber and determining methods in which this highly sustainable material can be implemented within traditional polymer processing and additive manufacturing. Román was one of the organizers of this year’s SPE TOPCON Conference on Thermosets here in Madison. The event ended up having the largest number of people attending in two decades, with almost 300 registrants from around the world. For his service, the SPE donated an additional $5,000 to the Polymer Engineering Center, where Román is the Chief Engineer and Graduate Research Assistant. SPE has confirmed this is the largest award they’ve ever given to a student.