Born in Plymouth, Minnesota, I spent five years in Albuquerque, New Mexico and another two in Plymouth before moving to Naperville, Illinois (about an hour west of Evanston if there’s no traffic), which is now what I refer to as “home.” I attended my parents’ alma mater, Iowa State University, where I received my BS in Materials Engineering with a focus on metallurgy and electronic materials. While at school, I spent one summer interning for Caterpillar, Inc. in Peoria researching mechanical properties of high-strength heat-treated alloys.
Now I am a PhD student at Northwestern researching medical-alloy titanium (Ti-6Al-4V) foams that have elongated and well-controlled pores for bone replacement. The porosity is instilled by both incomplete pressing of powders and dissolution of metal placeholders and serves as a way to match the stiffness of the alloy with the stiffness of bone and allow for the bone to grow into the titanium and anchor the implant. I’ve always had an interest in any topics related to the medical field, so the chance to work on a project for joint replacements was a golden opportunity for me.