External Advisory Board

Comprising eleven highly reputable industry partners and alumni, the MSE External Advisory Board works to provide guidance to our program about our curriculum, support our strategic initiatives, and ultimately enhance the UConn Materials Science and Engineering Department at the university, state, and national level.

Angie Cheung

Angie Cheung, Chief Materials Science Engineer, Stanadyne LLC
At Stanadyne, Angie Cheung is leading her organization by expanding its metallurgical engineering and failure analysis capabilities, and developing and improving materials and process requirements globally. With experience in both automotive and aerospace industries, she previously worked at Hamilton Sundstrand in Materials Engineering, and in Materials and Processing and Materials Engineering organizations at Cummins Engine Company-Fuel Systems. Angie received her B.S.in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) and an M.S. in Engineering Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Hartford).

photo of Dr. Lei Chen, Associate Director and Discipline Chief of Pratt & Whitney

Lei Chen, Discipline Chief for Surface Engineering, Pratt & Whitney
Chen graduated from UConn in 2006 with his master’s in chemical engineering. He has also received degrees from the Harbin Institute of Technology in China, the University of Utah, and Carnegie Mellon University. With numerous publications and patents, Chen is a researcher, engineer, and entrepreneur. He currently serves as the Associate Director and Discipline Chief of Pratt & Whitney where he leads teams in Surface Engineering and Process Chemistry. In the past, he worked as Associate Director and Project Manager at UTC Climate and spent almost 15 years as a Principal Investigator for the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC).
Lei’s work in the materials engineering industry has been recognized by an R&D 100 Award, UTRC Outstanding Achievement Award, UTC CCS Bravo Award, and UTC, Collins, P&W and Carrier Patent Awards.

Peter Chomowicz

Peter Chomowicz, Senior Analyst, General Dynamics Electric Boat
Dr. Chomowicz is an architect, urban theorist, and social scientist with an expertise in research administration and strategic planning. Previous positions include visiting scholar at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, and as the Associate Dean for Research and Development at Virginia Commonwealth University’s branch campus in Qatar where he led interdisciplinary, translational research efforts uniting collaborators from engineering, the arts, humanities and medicine. He holds degrees from the Cooper Union (B.Arch.), Harvard University (MA), and London Metropolitan University in the UK (PhD).

Bill P. Fallon Jr., LM Fellow, Materials & Process Engineering, Sikorsky Aircraft
Mr. Fallon is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has 32 years of experience in materials and process engineering. He has worked as both a metallurgist in the steel industry and an advanced composite technology engineer in the aerospace industry over the years but has spent most of his time in his current position where he leads, develops, and implements advanced material solutions for Sikorsky Aircraft.

Dan Goberman

Daniel Goberman, Associate Director - Discipline Leader, Materials Characterization, United Technologies Research Center
Daniel Goberman has been associated with UConn for more than half of his life. From an undergraduate education in Physics through post-doctoral work in materials engineering and an adjunct faculty position that continues to this day, Dan has been continuously associated with UConn for about 28 years. He currently enjoys teaching both Failure Analysis and Foundations of Engineer at the UConn Storrs campus, where he has received multiple recognitions from the Provost and Dean of Engineering for his successful student evaluations. His UConn education and experiences made it possible for him to secure a career at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) starting in 2008 at their East Hartford, CT facility. At UTRC, Dan has been pursuing advanced materials research and analysis within the Measurement Sciences Group where he now holds the position of Associate Director and Discipline Leader for Materials Characterization. In this role, Dan worked to solve the toughest materials issues, throughout the United Technologies portfolio of companies, focusing on materials Failure Analysis, Surface Analysis and general materials characterization efforts. He has worked on multiple materials issues that are derived from a wide range of physical locations and from a broad range of materials size scales including from up high in the International Space Station down to geothermal piping, from ultra-high temperature scramjet engine materials to low temperature refrigeration compressors, from gold coated optics to bug coated blades and from large scale commercial jet engine turbine blades down to contamination between graphene monolayers. His work has earned him multiple UTC recognitions, patents and publications.

Peter Jarrett, Chief Technology Officer, Ocular Therapeutix
Dr. Jarrett is a University of Connecticut alumnus, having earned his Ph.D. in polymer science through the Institute of Materials Science in 1983. Prior to becoming CTO of Ocular Therapeutix, Dr. Jarrett has served as Vice President of R&D of Biomaterials for Genzyme and, preceding that, Vice President of Research and Development at Focal, Inc. He is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and member of the American Chemical Society, the Society for Biomaterials, the Controlled Release Society, and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Neal Magdefrau, Ph.D., Founder and CEO, Electron Microscopy Innovative Technologies
Neal Magdefrau is a research scientist, engineer, and entrepreneur who enjoys working with advanced materials characterization to solve problems. He has been an engineer and research scientist in the Measurement Science Group at UTRC for 13 years. In 2014, he founded Electron Microscopy Innovative Technologies, the first and only business in the U.S. offering rentals of desktop Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEMs).  He now works part-time at UTRC while cultivating his company’s growth.
Neal holds eight patents and has more invention disclosures pending. In 2012, he receivedthe Senior Vice President’s Award, given by the CTO to their small service group for outstanding service. He earned his bachelor’s degree in MSE from UConn in 2005 and his master’s in 2006. He worked full-time at UTRC while continuing his education in Professor Mark Aindow’s lab, and graduated from the MSE program with his Ph.D. in 2013.

Howard Orr, President and CEO, KTI Inc.
Mr. Orr has served as the President of KTI, Inc. since 1972, where he also serves as treasurer and director of the East Windsor, Connecticut-based electron-and laser-beam welding company. Prior to his tenure at KTI, Orr spent two years as a financial analyst in the space program at Hamilton Standard. He received his B.S. degree in Economics and Business Administration from Drury College in Springfield, MO and his MBA from Western New England College in Wilbraham, MA. He continues his lifelong tradition of active volunteering by currently serving on over 25 non-profit boards and committees.

Kathy Saint, President, Schwerdtle Stamp Co.
Mrs. Saint is president of Schwerdtle Stamp Co., a 134-year-old manufacturing firm located in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She is president of the Manufacturers Education and Training Alliance and past president of Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, where she continues to serve on the board and chair of the education committee. She is a past board member for CBIA, serves on the Manufacturer’s Advisory Committee, and is a member of the Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Committee at Housatonic Community College. Working with the New Haven Manufacturer’s Association and their Workforce Enhancement Committee, Mrs. Saint is vocal with the governor, state agencies, and legislature in her advocacy for education and the STEM disciplines. She has received numerous awards for her community service, including a finalist distinction for the Connecticut Technology Council’s 2006 “Women of Innovation Award.” Mrs. Saint is also the recipient of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s “Impact Award” in 2005 for outstanding leadership, the 2004 Connecticut Community Colleges “Award of Merit,” and the first recipient of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s Women’s Leadership Award.

Stephen D. Thomas

Stephen Thomas, Structural Engineer II, General Dynamics Electric Boat
Stephen D. Thomas graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and is employed as a structural engineer at General Dynamics Electric Boat. During his time of employment, Stephen has been one of the driving forces behind EB’s push to develop Additive Manufacturing technologies. Within the broader GD corporate community Stephen has been working with several other EB engineers and GD business units to develop design and engineering guidelines for Additively Manufactured tools and components. Stephen brings to the table a unique new perspective on manufacturing materials and on the growing Additive Industry.

Dr. Sonia Tulyani

Sonia Tulyani, Senior Director, Materials Science & Engineering, Collins Aerospace, UTC
Dr. Tulyani has led materials innovation in various roles at United Technologies for over 15 years. With a background in high temperature materials and coatings and experience working in experimental and simulation settings, Dr. Tulyani has worked on the development of coatings, catalysts, lubricants and gearboxes for UTC's business units. She has earned five US patents and two Outstanding Achievement Awards, the highest awards granted by the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC). Driven by a desire for learning about new products and how to improve their performance with materials engineering, Dr. Tulyani earned her B.S. in chemical engineering at MIT, her M.S. in chemical engineering at Princeton University, and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
As the new Senior Director for Collins Aerospace, Materials Science & Engineering, Dr. Tulyani plans to design, develop, and support the use of innovative materials and processes.