2016 Philadelphia STLE Scholarship Winner Feature: Michelle Torelli

Drexel Student Earns Philadelphia STLE Scholarship

Michelle Torelli

Drexel University engineering student Michelle Torelli received a $2,000 scholarship from the Philadelphia Section of STLE. Torelli is pursuing a double major for a BS in Chemical Engineering and MS in Environmental Engineering. Because of her high academic aspirations she is the only undergraduate among the 2016 Scholarship awardees.

In addition to an outstanding academic record, Torelli worked with the US Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, MD. While there she participated in the NFL Head Health Challenge Part II project, developing strapping devices using shear-thickening fluids (STFs) to reduce the effect of concussive injuries. Such devices also increase the protection for military personnel in the field.

Torelli formulated new STFs to improve performance and stability. Using a rheometer, she measured the thickening and solidification of the fluid as a function of applied torque. Torelli also worked on the manufacturing processes, to prepare large batches of traditional STFs. Similar work was presented at a poster session sponsored by the Young Chemists’ Committee of the Philadelphia section of the American Chemical Society.

Torelli is spending the summer on a co-op assignment with The Boeing Company in Huntsville, AL, working on various projects. Such projects include developing fuel analysis methods, testing materials for qualification, and assessing chemical processing issues in support of various space and defense systems.