The Refractories Institute (TRI) Announces 2018 Scholarship Recipients

August 28, 2019—Cleveland, OH—TRI (The Refractories Institute) is pleased to announce the three recipients of this year’s scholarships for college students who are pursuing an education related to refractory science. TRI, comprising approximately 50 member companies that operate in the refractory industry, awards scholarships annually. This year’s recipients are Luke Hanner, Drexel University; Sharon Uwanyuze, University of Connecticut; and Somnath Mandal, University of California, Irvine.

The academic scholarships are awarded by TRI’s scholarship committee and are distributed to each student as a one-time grant of $5,000. To be eligible, students must be currently in pursuit of a degree (undergraduate or graduate) in materials science, ceramic engineering, or similar disciplines. Students must be enrolled full-time at a North American college or university. Scholarships are awarded to a limited number of students each year and are based on academic merit and the student’s interest and experience in the field of refractories.

Hanner is pursuing a B.S./M.S. in Materials Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa., through its accelerated degree program, which includes advanced courses in ceramics, high-temperature materials, and process metallurgy. As a freshman he participated in a selective program called “Students Tackling Advanced Research” (STAR) and has so far participated in two six-month co-ops as part of his undergraduate work: one at the Army Research Laboratories at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds and one at Solvay. In 2018 he published “Dynamic hardness of cemented tungsten carbides” in the International Journal of Refractory Metals and Hard Materials.

Uwanyuze is pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. She earned a B.S. in Materials Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is currently a graduate research assistant at the University of Connecticut with a specific interest titanium alloys, working to investigate their high temperature interface reactions with refractory ceramics and using diffusion couples to analyze corrosion and kinetics during melting to aid in designing appropriate refractories. She was named Outstanding Undergraduate Student Engineer in Materials and Science Engineering for 2017.

Mandal is pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, and also has two years’ experience in the refractory industry. He earned a B.S. in Ceramic Technology from the Government College of Engineering & Ceramic Technology in Kolkata, India, and an M.S. in Ceramic Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) in Varanasi, India. He has published “Microstructure and phase evolution of Indian magnesite-derived MgAl2O4 as a function of stoichiometry and ZrO2 doping” in the International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology and presented at seven conferences/symposia in India, Europe, and the U.S.

For more information about TRI and their scholarship application requirements, visit them on the web at

About TRI
Established in 1951, TRI (The Refractories Institute) is an association of approximately 50 member companies dedicated to providing support and services to manufacturers of refractory materials and products, and suppliers of raw materials, equipment, and services to those in the refractories industry. TRI fosters collaboration, educates the public, and helps members navigate an ever-shifting regulatory landscape. For more information, contact TRI at 1300 Sumner Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115. Phone: 216-241-7333. Fax: 216-241-0105. Email: