In 2006, the number of undergraduate students in the Materials Engineering program had grown to 150, impressively larger than it had been even 5 years prior. But the small, family-like feel of the department remained – and still does to this day. Among those 150 students was Laura Kahler (now Fyle), who graduated with her undergraduate degree in Spring 2006.
Laura has worked for Caterpillar, Inc. since graduation. In her current job role, she works with external suppliers on quality, cost, logistics, development and management, so her scope is much broader than what she learned in MSE. However, she credits MSE for building the foundation for her to get where she is today. No matter what the product is, it starts with a material and the processing of that material is critical to the functionality of the final component.
According to Laura, many qualities of the MSE department contributed to her successful education. The faculty members were very knowledgeable and available to help answer questions outside of class hours, but beyond that, the MSE department became her second family. The smaller department size, interactive labs, and student labs fostered an environment where she really got to know her classmates. To this day, the people Laura met while in the MSE department are some of her closest friends.