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The University of Alabama

Two UA Engineering Students Awarded National Scholarships

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Two students studying metallurgical and materials engineering at The University of Alabama were recently awarded prominent scholarships within the metal casting industry.

John Calhoun, of Chelsea, received the Loper Award, and David Fletcher, of Huntsville, was selected for the Burleigh Jacobs Scholarship. Both students are seniors.

The two were part of UA’s delegation of four students to the College Industry Conference held by the Foundry Educational Foundation in November in Chicago. Along with Calhoun and Fletcher, fellow seniors Jeremy Peters, of Evergreen, and Erica Barnes, of Selma, attended.

The students were accompanied by Dr. Laurentiu Nastac, UA associate professor of metallurgical and materials engineering, who serves as an FEF key professor, a liaison between the foundation and students.

FEF was established in 1947 by the leaders of the metal casting industry with the support of affiliated organizations and societies as an independent extension of metalcasting educational programs at colleges and universities across the country. The primary objective is to bring top-quality men and women into the industry, and FEF provides its company contributors with a crucial link to college campuses.

More than 300 industry executives, student delegates, professors and university administrators were in attendance at this year’s FEF College Industry Conference. FEF pays for travel and room and meal expenses for each student delegate and a professor. Along with networking and a career fair, FEF awards more than $30,000 in scholarships and grants to undergraduate and graduate students at the conference.

Calhoun’s award comes from a fund that honors Dr. Carl R. Loper Jr., who served as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for more 30 years. It goes to a student who has a demonstrated interest in cast metals, outstanding academic achievement, desirable traits of character, personality and leadership and demonstrated professional potential.

The Burleigh Jacobs Scholarship is named in honor of the chairman of Grede Foundries. The scholarship recognizes students with demonstrated interest in cast metals, outstanding academic achievement, desirable traits of character, personality and leadership and demonstrated professional potential.

In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s fully accredited College of Engineering has nearly 4,500 students and about 120 faculty. Students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz and Truman scholars.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.