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Oerlikon Surface Solutions AG
Pfaeffikon, Branch Balzers
Iramali 18
9496 Balzers
Liechtenstein

Attract bright talent into the industry Oerlikon Metco Young Professionals Award (OMYPA)

To the Oerlikon Surface Solutions Segment, social responsibility also means commitment to the next generation. By sponsoring the Young Professionals Award, Oerlikon Metco supports young individuals at universities to inspire future innovative scientists worldwide to prosper in surface technology endeavors. BEYOND SURFACES met Emine Bakan, who won the award in 2013, and this year’s award recipient Amanda Wang, and asked them about the impact the OMYPA has had in their professional lives.


Left: Emine Bakan, OMYPA winner in 2013,at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany. Right: Amanda Wang, presenting her thesis at ITSC 2016 in Shanghai, China.

The Oerlikon Metco Young Professionals Award (OMYPA) has been given annually to bright individuals who show promise in contributing to innovations in surface engineering. Presented since 2011 at the International Thermal Spray Conference (ITSC), it is granted toexceptional university students who demonstrate significant accomplishments in the field. “It is very important to attract young talent from universities and motivate them to participate in our industry,” said Dr Richard Schmid, CTO at Oerlikon Metco. “They represent our future and bring fresh ideas and methodologies to our field. Their contributions enable innovative adaptations which are vital in today‘s environment of fast technological changes and high market demands.” Besides nurturing new talents, the OMYPA creates an ideal interface between the academic community and industry. This collaboration provides an opportunity for young talent from all regions to present their surface technology and materials research work to an international audience of academia and industry experts.

»Probably the most challenging of all presentations«

Emine Bakan received the honors in May 2013 at ITSC in Busan, Republic of Korea, for her outstanding presentation titled ‘Overcoming the Implementation Challenges of Gadolinium Zirconate in Plasma Sprayed Thermal Barrier Coatings’. At the time, she was a PhD student at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research (IEK-1) at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany. Ms Bakan worked under the direction of Professor Dr Robert Vaßen at IEK-1 in the Materials for Advanced Power Plants division, one of the groups that conducts research on various disciplines of materials synthesis and processing. She thrived in the coatings material group which develops materials for use as thermal barrier coatings in gas turbines. In other words, focusing on producing efficient energy production methods and materials for commercial use.

»Participating in the Young Professionals competition at ITSC 2013 was definitely a nice and enjoyable experience for me,” says Emine Bakan about her participation in the OMYPA. “The five-minute scientific presentation is probably the most challenging of all presentations to accomplish. Thanks to this competition, I learned a lot about what it takes to clearly convey complex ideas to an audience. Furthermore, it was a unique opportunity not only to meet with the global Thermal Spray community, but also to pick experts‘ brains regarding my research. I sincerely encourage young Thermal Spray researchers to take this occasion to expand their knowledge and leverage their networks.«

After finishing her PhD, Emine Bakan resumed her studies in the group with Professor Dr Robert Vaßen at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, as a postdoctoral fellow. In collaboration with Oerlikon Metco, they work on the development of environmental barrier coatings

»Definitely a great opportunity to debut yourself as a researcher«

Amanda Wang is this year’s award winner. She received the honours at ITSC 2016 in Shanghai, China, for her exceptional presentation titled ‘Three Dimensional Reconstruction of Plasma Sprayed Ni-20Cr on Alumina’.
BEYOND SURFACES met the young researcher and asked her about the source of her daily inspiration, her experience and future plans.

Ms Wang, what is your inspiration for the work you’re doing?
Thermal Spray was one of the subjects in my undergraduate studies so I was familiar with the topic during the project selection for my honours project. My supervisor, Professor Paul R. Munroe, showed me examples of research into Thermal Spray and I was instantly enamoured by the intricate details and designs that exist on the micro- and nano-scales. Even now, I tell people my work is about using large microscopes to view the universe in structures so small the naked eye cannot see. Near the end of my honours project, Prof. Munroe once again inspired me with the possibility of using 3D tomography to analyse splats. The satisfaction in viewing a splat as a single entity and not as multiple sampled regions, as well as watching every layer around the splat fit together so perfectly, provoked my curiosity on whether I, as a newcomer to the field, can one day achieve results similar to what I had just witnessed. Now in my third year of my PhD studying Thermal Spray, there is still so much to learn about my current samples. Small deviations in any component can affect the samples, whether it is in the feedstock, substrate, spraying or even milling paramters. However, by drawing on the experience of leading experts in the field, we all have a better chance of piecing together this puzzle.

About the OMYPA

Facts & Figures

The OMYPA was engendered by Prof. Dr-Ing Kirsten Bobzin of the University of Aachen. It is funded by Oerlikon Metco and organized by the German Welding Society (DVS) and the American Society of Materials (ASM International). It aims to acknowledge students, doctoral candidates and scientists from all over the world, and to encourage new talent to engage in the advancement of surface engineering. Award contestants are students who enter into their graduate year of University and have completed an aspect of Thermal Spray research. The submitted abstracts are evaluated by an international team of thermal spray professionals from both academia and industry. When an abstract is selected, the finalists present at the International Thermal Spray Conference (ITSC), where each presentation will be evaluated and scored for originality, experimental and research results and presentation style.

What would you like to share with our readers about your experience thus far?
The International Thermal Spray Conference was truly an eye-opening experience. The number of Thermal Spray experts, all gathered in a common location was overwhelming. Not only was I able to meet authors of papers I had read, I was also able to consult and discuss concepts and examples with them! The best part was, everyone was so approachable and humble about their research. The Young Professionals competition is definitely a great opportunity to debut yourself as a researcher. The fact that ITSC organisers had dedicated an entire afternoon to showcase this competition demonstrates how highly regarded young professionals are in this field. This level of exposure bodes well for all young professionals – regardless of whether you win or not.

In general, what are your future plans?
At this present time, my main goal is to focus on finishing my doctorate degree. After that, I hope to work in industry, preferably in a field where I can utilise skills acquired throughout my education.

Coating Guide