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Taylor Wiehn wins inaugural FURI Alumni Award

Photo of Taylor Wiehn and her husband Michael. Caption: Taylor Wiehn and her husband, Michael, show off their Sun Devil pride at the Spring 2017 FURI Luncheon on April 21, 2017. The pair of chemical engineers met during their first week at ASU, and Wiehn credits the support of her husband, along with that of her family, as contributing factors to the award. Marco Alexis-Chaira/ASU

Taylor Wiehn and her husband, Michael, show off their Sun Devil pride at the Spring 2017 FURI Luncheon on April 21, 2017. The pair of chemical engineers met during their first week at ASU, and Wiehn credits the support of her husband, along with that of her family, as contributing factors to the award. Photographer: Marco-Alexis Chaira/ASU

Taylor Wiehn has been named as the inaugural recipient of the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative Alumni Award.

The award recognizes high-performing and distinguished graduates who participated FURI, one of the Fulton Schools’ signature programs.

Wiehn, who graduated with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering in 2012 and 2013, respectively, now works at W. L. Gore and Associates. She says her experience with FURI helped apply her classroom learning and drove her to pursue more research opportunities.

“It showed me how to approach solving real-world challenges using the concepts that I learned about in class,” says Wiehn. “The FURI program and the positive experience sparked my interest in continuing research throughout my academic career.”

From the spring to the fall of 2010, Wiehn worked in Research Professor Robert Pfeffer’s lab, studying the absorption capacities of aerogels for carbon dioxide and volatile organic compound capture.

“I paired this research with the atmospheric work that I performed during a summer 2011 internship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create my Barrett Honors Thesis,” says Wiehn, who went on to defend and pass her thesis in 2012.

Wiehn says the exposure to research in FURI instilled a passion for problem solving and laid a foundation for the skills she uses today at Gore, where she works as a quality engineer as part of a new product development team. She fields consumer complaints, supports quality control, runs procedural clarifications and sampling plans, and overviews nonconformances — in short, she ensures that the product performs as intended. Previously, she worked as a process engineer, focusing on product manufacturing processes.

When she’s not ensuring product quality at Gore, Wiehn enjoys hiking and tennis, and is brushing up on her Spanish for an upcoming trip to Spain.

Honored to be the inaugural FURI Alumni Award recipient, Wiehn offered thanks to those closest to her.

“I definitely want to recognize my husband, Michael Wiehn, who incidentally I met during my first week at ASU in the ASU 101 for Chemical Engineers course! He is the best engineer I know,” she says. “I would also like to give a shout out to my amazing parents, Joseph and Jane Brownlee, and my sister, Morgan Brownlee.”

About The Author

Pete Zrioka

After a four-year stint in the United States Marine Corps, Pete earned his journalism degree from ASU. He's been writing in some capacity for the last ten years and looks forward to the next ten. Contact: peter.zrioka@asu.edu | 480-727-5618 | Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering 

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