Engineering Students Win Contest

First and third places awarded to two of WWU's own

By: Becky St. Clair

The presentation winners, McNabb (right) and Jabola, relax after a job well-done.

In March, two students from WWU’s School of Engineering attended the ASME Annual Student Presentation Competition.  Not only were they in attendance, but they each took their turn up front.  

Peter McNabb and Andrew Jabola, both seniors, were among six mechanical engineering students who presented at the local event.  The other four were representatives of the engineering departments at Washington State University and Central Washington University.

“Both of our students delivered excellent presentations,” says Qin Ma, assistant professor of engineering.  “They were technically competent and well-prepared presentations, as well as impressive subjects.”

Ma was not exaggerating or being biased; the judges agreed that McNabb and Jabola had done excellent work and presented it well.  McNabb won first place; Jabola third.  

McNabb’s presentation topic was, “The Mechanical Reliability of Metal Polymer Thin Film Systems.”   Metal polymer thin film systems (MPTFSs) are thin layers of metal and polymer, each maybe the thickness of a piece of paper, bonded together.  They can be used in such things as flexible electronics; McNabb gives the example of a computer screen you could fold and put in your backpack.  

Last summer, McNabb had the opportunity to intern at Washington State University.  While there, he conducted tests to quantify several different MPTFSs’ mechanical strengths.  The results of his research were used extensively by several professors at WSU, as well as at Sandia National Laboratories.  

“It was amazing to see how prepared we were to compete with larger universities,” says McNabb.  “I feel that WWU has prepared me not only to do excellent quality engineering work, but also to communicate my work effectively in writing and in oral presentation.”

Ma hopes that both McNabb and Jabola will participate in the regional presentation competition, as well.

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