External Advisory Board

Comprising nine 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.

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

Lei Chen, Discipline Lead for Surface Engineering & Corrosion Protection, Applied Research & Technology, Collins Aerospace
Lei 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 an Associate Director and Discipline Lead (manager) of Collins Aerospace where he leads a team in Surface Engineering and Corrosion Protection group. In the past, he worked as Associate Director and Discipline Chief at Pratt & Whitney (P&W), and Project Manager on innovation at UTC Climate, Control, & Security (now Carrier Corporation). Lei spent 14 years as a Principal Investigator for the United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) in East Hartford, CT.
Lei’s work in the materials engineering industry has been recognized by an R&D 100 Award, UTRC Outstanding Achievement Award, P&W innovator award, and numerous Patent Awards.

portrait of Angie Cheung, Associate Director – Materials Characterization, Materials & Process Engineering, Pratt & Whitney

Angie Cheung, Associate Director – Materials Characterization, Materials & Process Engineering, Pratt & Whitney
Prior to joining Pratt & Whitney, Angie Cheung led materials engineering organizations by improving analysis capabilities at both Triumph and Stanadyne LLC and expanded metallurgical engineering and failure analysis competencies by developing and improving materials and process requirements globally. With over 25 years of experience in both automotive and aerospace industries, she previously worked as a metallurgist at Hamilton Sundstrand Materials Engineering (now Collins Aerospace), and in Materials and Process Engineering at Cummins – Fuel Systems. Angie received her B.S.in materials science and engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in engineering science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

bill fallon

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, Technical Fellow - Materials Characterization, Raytheon 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 since 1990. He currently enjoys teaching both Failure Analysis and Surface Science 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, what is now, Raytheon Technologies Research Center (RTRC) starting in 2008 at their East Hartford, CT facility. At RTRC, Dan has been pursuing advanced materials research and analysis within the Measurement Sciences Group where he was recently promoted to the role of Technical Fellow in Materials Characterization. In this role, Dan works to solve the toughest materials issues, throughout the Raytheon Technologies portfolio of companies, focusing on materials Failure Analysis, Surface Analysis, and general materials characterization efforts. He has worked on over 1000 materials issues across a wide range of materials and product sources from as high up as the International Space Station and as far down as 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.

neal magdefrau

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 received the 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.

photo of Steve Mayott

Steve Mayott, Manager of Materials Engineering & Laboratory Services, General Dynamics Electric Boat
Steve Mayott oversees several technical groups at Electric Boat, including metallic materials engineering, metallic additive manufacturing, the metallurgy laboratory, and the chemistry laboratories. Chief responsibilities of his areas with respect to MS&E include assuring correct metallic materials, materials processes and material specifications are used in the design and construction of submarines, evaluation of material non-conformances, mechanical property testing of metallic materials, and the adoption, implementation and oversight of metallic additive manufacturing at the company. Steve received his B.S. and M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

photo of Victoria Reichelderfer, Materials and Process engineer, Kaman Air Vehicles

Victoria Reichelderfer, Materials and Process Engineer, Pratt & Whitney
Victoria graduated from UConn with her bachelor's degree in 2020 and from the University of Colorado Boulder with her master's degree in 2022, both in materials science and engineering. She is currently employed as a materials and process engineer in the Light Alloys Development Group at Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford, CT. There, she supports alloy and process development, with a primary focus on aluminum and titanium alloys. Her main interest is understanding the microstructure and properties relationships in metals, and using that knowledge to help facilitate the manufacturing of a part on a print into a real, finished mechanical component.

kathy saint

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.

photo of Paul Su, Staff Vice President, Principal Research Scientist, Equipment and Materials Science Research, FM Global

Paul Su, Staff Vice President, Principal Research Scientist, Equipment and Materials Science Research, FM Global
Dr. Su is a University of Connecticut alumnus who earned his Ph.D. from the Materials Science and Engineering department in 1997. He also holds degrees from the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan (BS) and Carnegie Mellon University (MS) in the MSE department. Paul has participated in materials R&D for over 30 years, especially in corrosion mitigation, materials degradation and monitoring, failure analysis, and chemical product development in the property insurance, chemical, and aerospace industries. He is a Fellow of the National Association of Corrosion Engineers and member of IEEE, ASM International, and ASME societies. In addition, Paul has received a patent and seven industry awards.