Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2022
When exploring choices for a major, Katrina Santos found that materials science and engineering involved many aspects of science she was interested in.
“I felt like there were lots of opportunities and industries I could be a part of with this major,” Santos says.
Over the past four years, she has been part of a small but tight-knit community in the materials science and engineering community in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University.
Santos also fostered a stronger sense of belonging among a group of materials science and engineering students as president of the Material Advantage student organization.
“One of my biggest achievements in Material Advantage was increasing the amount of interaction between students in different academic years,” Santos says. “I also helped coordinate many industry connections like lab tours and presentations.”
In 2018, Santos competed with a team of materials science and engineering students in the ASM International DomesDay competition and earned first place for a dome that could withstand 11,000 pounds of pressure.
Santos credits three professors who were instrumental to her overall academic success: Associate Professor Sefaattin Tongay, Senior Research Specialist Shahriar Anwar and Assistant Professor Sui Yang.
“Professor Tongay was instrumental in giving me the courage to strive for more while supporting me in the very beginning of my academic career,” Santos says. “Professor Anwar has been my professor since freshman year and supported my work from FSE 100 projects to my senior year capstone project. He has been instrumental to my success and learning as my academic career progressed.”
“Professor Yang constantly allowed me to improve both my technical and professional skills through the various projects and presentations,” she says. “He is a really empowering professor who drives us to come up with things no one else has thought of.”
Santos also cultivated her passion for dance while at ASU. She was highly involved in and served as president of AZNA Dance, a student organization for hip-hop dance that focuses on the Asian American community as well as inclusion and diversity for dancers of all skill levels and backgrounds.
In the fall, Santos will continue graduate studies in materials science and engineering through the 4+1 accelerated master’s degree program.
“I would love to later get my MBA and become a leader in the semiconductor industry,” Santos says of her long-term career goals. “I want to be a part of creating more efficient and sustainable technologies for consumer use.”