Daniel Christe

B.S./M.S. Student

How did you decide to come to Drexel Materials for your B.S.?

I was strongly attracted to the vibrant, walkable city of Philadelphia, which is well-connected by air from my home in South Florida.  Drexel Materials offered opportunities for freshmen to engage in research, the dominant activity in the department, an extension of Drexel’s learning through experience principle.  I also received a generous scholarship that would cover a B.S. and M.S. degree, which was a major factor in the decision.

Are you doing any research in the lab?

I currently work under Dr. Antonios Zavaliangos, our department head, leader of the Powder Materials Group (PMG), and a wonderful advisor.  I never thought about just how many things are made from powder until I joined the group. Speaking generally, we are currently investigating a method of reducing microcracking during the pharmaceutical tablet manufacturing process.  So far, I’ve been trained on two different mechanical testing machines, methods of measuring tablets, and an optical microscope. I will start training on the microCT scanner as well. It’s been a chance to acquire useful skills and experience before my first co-op.   I find that working in a research group makes me more interested in fundamental concepts that come up in Physics or Chemistry 101, because I now see their application beyond solving exam problems.

What other activities are you involved in at Drexel?

Material Advantage, a student program provides membership to the four largest professional societies of Materials Science and Engineering.

What do you like best about Drexel Materials?

It’s a small, intimate, and active department in a large school. You begin recognizing people in the department fairly quickly. Even as a freshman, I’ve met the department head, several faculty, the wonderful staff, and some of the graduate students.

What are your plans post-graduation?

That’s a hard question to answer, but I probably would like to pursue a career in industry following graduation.

How do you feel your Drexel Materials degree will prepare you for your post-graduation plans?

Besides giving me a solid technical background, my Drexel Materials degree will also include two co-op experiences, something that seems hard to come by at other universities.  A materials degree lets you work on a broad range of engineering problem you want, considering that everything must be made of something.

Do you have any advice for students looking for a B.S. program?

Choose a school in a connected location; you will get interesting people coming and going constantly.  Go somewhere that will give you opportunities to do independent research.  As a freshman at Drexel, all you have to do is ask to join a research group.  I was quite surprised how easy getting through that door was.

Any other comments or thoughts?

I’d like to thank the department for being so welcoming of its freshmen.  From the two-day course offered before the fall term, to numerous informal social events, I already feel at home in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.


Year of Graduation: 2017


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