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Young Pro Flourishing After Involvement With FEF

Pam Lechner

The FEF network of 33 world-class colleges and universities across North America equips and prepares students to enter the metalcasting industry immediately following graduation—providing not just book learning, but hands-on technical experiences in the school foundry, internships, and networking opportunities.

Emily Gerstein, a 2018 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, first became interested in material engineering during high school after attending an ASM International camp at UWM. That camp introduced her to materials properties testing, microscopy, and even sand casting using foundry in a box.

“After that, I knew that I really wanted to study materials, and I absolutely fell in love with metallurgy after I got involved with the UWM AFS/FEF Student Chapter,” Gerstein said. “I use concepts that I learned in my heat treatment and metalcasting classes to things I’m doing at my work on a daily basis. Without the fundamentals that I picked up during my time at UWM, I wouldn’t be able to problem-solve as effectively.”

At the 2017 College Industry Conference, Gerstein networked with industry professionals from around the country—some of whom she has worked with since.

“The CIC was a great opportunity to see what kind of jobs are available,” she said. “I was able to connect with Waupaca Foundry and I ultimately ended up working at their Plant 1 facility following graduation.”

Gerstein currently works as a metallurgist at AFS Corporate Member Spuncast Inc. (Watertown, Wisconsin).

“I love that my job always keeps me on my toes,” she said “I can always expect that there’s going to be something different and exciting to work on whether it be in the lab or out on the floor.

“I can look back and see how my UWM education and my internship at MetalTek International helped prepare me for my jump into the metalcasting industry following graduation. A lot of what I learned was directly applicable to what I now do on a daily basis, so I was really able to hit the ground running when I started my first full-time job.”

Click here to see this story as it appears in the August 2019 issue of Modern Casting.