Suzanne Russo

The Institute of Materials Science & Engineering
Degree pursuing: PhD in materials science & engineering
Hometown: Rockford, Illinois

Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Please provide your lab and description of research
I work in the Flores Lab studying metallic glasses. Specifically, I use simulations to model deformation of metallic glasses to better understand their unique mechanical properties. 

What motivated you to earn a graduate engineering degree?
I loved teaching in undergrad and working on a PhD would give me many opportunities to learn and teach complex subject matter. A PhD will give me many teaching job opportunities after graduate school.

What drew you to this area of research?
I wanted to study the structure-properties relationships of materials. I was also interested in a project that combines modeling work with experiments.

Why did you pick WashU?
I loved that WashU had research rotations where I could spend a considerable amount of time in the lab before deciding on a permanent lab to work in. Also, the collaborative nature of students and faculty in my field is great.

Who is your favorite instructor and why?
My favorite instructor so far has been Bryce Sadtler, associate professor of chemistry. He provided the information in a very clear yet interesting way. It was obvious he cared about his students and was always available to help.

What advice would you give to a new student?
I would advise a new student to get involved in the wider graduate school community. This gives you the chance to make friends with students outside your field. There are a lot of student groups on campus and being involved can enhance your leadership skills, which will be important for the future.

What is your favorite thing about St. Louis?
I love all the free concerts and events in St. Louis, especially during the summer. You can find free music in the park and live shows to watch all summer.

What campus activities or groups would you recommend to a new student?
AGES events including weekly coffee hour, monthly happy hour, and various other social and professional development events throughout the year.

What are your plans for the future?
I plan to get a teaching/lecture position at a college or university where I can work with students to get them excited about materials science and engineering. I also plan to be heavily involved in STEM outreach programs in my community.