Grad Member Spotlight: Margaret Scheiner

Margaret Scheiner


PhD candidate
P.E.O. Scholar
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Florida State University


Margaret has been a member of SWE since 2010. She currently serves as the Region D Graduate Representative and is an active SWE member at Florida State University. As an undergraduate, she served several different roles at Cornell University, including positions such as Outreach Chair and Corporate Relations Chair. Her combined efforts at both the section and region levels have greatly improved efforts to include more graduate students in SWE.

Margaret has been successful both in SWE and in her research experience. She is a PhD candidate at Florida State University in Industrial Engineering, and expects to graduate in May 2018. She was selected to be a U.S.A. Delegate to the 2017 Lindau Meeting, which is sponsored by Lockheed Martin and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Margaret’s hard work has paid off as she was awarded the 2016 Tony DiBenedetto Student Employee of the Year Award through Florida State University for combined for research assistantship, teaching assistantship, and leading summer internship programs. Additionally, she was an Invited Scholar to the Doctoral Colloquium, through the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers in 2016. She has received several awards to help her succeed in graduate school. Margaret was named an International P.E.O. Scholar in 2017, and also received the Amelia Earhart Fellowship through Zonta International in 2016, the E. Wayne Kay Graduate Scholarship through the SME Educational Foundation in 2015, and was named to Honorable Mention for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program in 2015. SWE has invested in Margaret through the ASSIST Travel Grant in 2016, invited her as a 2016 Scholar to Academic Leadership for Women in Engineering, and 2015 Collegiate Leadership Institute participant. Through other organizations, Margaret has been given the Phi Kappa Phi 2017 Love of Learning Award and 2017 Graduate Student Award at Florida State University.

Margaret’s Brief explanation of her Research Experience

Research topic: integrated structural health monitoring and self-healing for composites

Motivation: Fiber-reinforced polymer composites (FRPCs) are used for a variety of civil and military applications. However, predicting the failure of FRPCs is more difficult than predicting the failure of more traditional materials like steel. Furthermore, composites can suffer extreme internal damage, but show little, if any, external indication that damage has occurred. Non-destructive inspection techniques have been developed to check for internal damage, but such methods are costly and time-consuming, meaning that inspection is often limited to small areas.

My research: I am creating a FRPC which reports when and where damage has occurred and automatically heals the damage. It combines distributed damage monitoring and self-healing technology. Damage notification is achieved with triboluminescent (TL) crystals which emit light when stressed or broken. Photodetectors translate the TL light into electrical signal. Healing is achieved by a capillary network containing liquid healing material. When damage occurs, the capillaries release healing material into the damaged area.

What do you hope to do with your degree? What are your career goals?

My ideal career will allow me to combine materials engineering with industrial engineering. This could mean anything from management position at a materials engineering firm to project management/consulting to a research & development position. So… I’m still figuring it out! I am specifically looking for a position where I can use and improve materials and processing systems to improve customers’ experiences. I would like to return to higher education and teach after gaining industry experience.

What are some of your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

I enjoy contra dancing, swing dancing, hiking, canoeing, and camping. I also bake a lot, and am pretty good at convincing people to play board games with me.

What’s a fun fact about you?

I’ve legally crossed the US-Canada border multiple times without getting my passport stamped (via a back-country border-crossing permit).


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