About the MSE GSC

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) is a student organization with the purpose of bettering the life of the MSE graduate student body. We aim to advocate for MSE graduate students and make sure they feel like they are a part of a community here at Michigan. We do this by focusing on four core areas of the graduate experience: advocacy, social events, career and professional development, and curriculum.

GSC Representatives

Ben Derby

  • GSC Co-President.
  • I study thin film architectures that go beyond monolithic thin film designs using phase separation during co-sputtering. Synthesizing 3D thin film morphologies expands the potential functionality of thin films. Advisor: Amit Misra
  • Often to the groans of my parents, I am an avid thrill-seeker. I am a private pilot and you’ll often see me on my motorcycle. I also love to do fixes and improvements to my Jeep and SV650!
  • benderby@umich.edu

Sid Borsadia

  • I serve as Co-President and Treasurer for GSC, tasked with making a budget for all events during the year and ensuring that funds are allocated adequately. I am also a member of the social committee, and thus am in charge of coordinating social events both for the MSE department graduate students, as well as with other departments (ex. holiday party with ChE). I work closely with Aaron, Lamia, and Duncan to ensure that graduate students develop better personal connections with their peers, as well as find things to do outside of research. We try to host at least one department happy hour per month, along with sporadic larger events, such as the chili cook-off, bake-off, and holiday party.
  • I work with a technique called organic vapor jet printing (OVJP) that allows us to deposit small molecular organic materials with a great deal of control over rate, morphology, particle size, and resolution. I am using this technique to print pharmaceutical drugs in an attempt to enhance the dissolution rate of poor solubility drugs, as well as enable the use of these drugs in coatings. Currently, I am working on codepositing multiple compounds to create pharmaceutical cocrystals, which is currently a hot research topic in the field of pharmaceutical sciences.

Ashley Hilmas

  • Past-President, Career & Development Committee Co-Chair. I work as a liaison between GSC and the student body and the department administration.
  • I work on SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composites (CMC’s) for high temperature applications. More specifically I work on the characterization of these materials in order to provide more information on their mechanical properties. Advisor: John Halloran and Kathy Sevener
  • I grew up in Missouri but I was born in Ann Arbor
  • amhilmas@umich.edu

Duncan Greeley

  • Secretary, Outreach Committee Co-Chair
  • My research focuses on developing a mechanistic understanding of the effect of rare earth element additions on the mechanical behavior of magnesium. I utilize advanced in-situ characterization tools to explore mechanical phenomena across broad length scales, as a part of the PRISMS Center. Advisor: John Allison
  • I love to spend time outdoors running, cycling, mountain biking, and sailing.
  • greeleyd@umich.edu

Maya Nath

  • 5th+ Year Representative, Career & Development Committee Co-Chair: I am a representative for graduate students in their fifth year and beyond. I am also serving on the Career and Personal Development Committee, organizing events to help with career exploration, networking, etc. and connecting students with opportunities in the CoE and Rackham.
  • Incremental sheet forming is a novel die-less manufacturing process being developed for low volume production and mass customization applications in the automotive and aerospace industries. My research focuses on the characterization of microstructure, texture and surface finish of incrementally-formed parts made from aluminum alloys. Advisor: Alan Taub
  • I performed at Carnegie Hall with my youth orchestra in high school
  • nathm@umich.edu

Benjamin Swerdlow

  • 4th Year Representative, Outreach Committee Co-Chair. I represent the interests and concerns of 4th year MSE graduate students and make sure GSC events engage both them and all other MSE graduate students.
  • Material properties like how things break and how things interact with light are intrinsically tied to material structure. My research focuses on how to self-assemble custom nano and colloidal material structures by changing particle shape and patch interactions via particle simulations so that we can create materials with custom and interesting properties.
  • Fun fact? More like PUN fact! I like puns.

Keara Saud

  • 3rd Year Rep, Career & Development Co-Chair - I represent the 3rd year graduate students by communicating their concerns and interests for event planing and by also sharing GSC events with them.
  • Active motion is motion that mimics motion in nature, i.e. flocks of birds, bacterial colonies, and swarms of fish. My research focuses on the comparison of the microdynamics and rheology of colloids exhibiting active motion. Advisor: Michael Solomon.
  • I love salsa dancing and stress-baking.
  • ktsaud@umich.edu

Aaron Gladstein

  • Second year representative: in this position I am in charge of keeping 2nd year students connected to UM and the MSE department events, and also function as a representative of students of my year so they may voice their opinions or concerns.
  • Social committee co-chair: I work with the social committee to set up fun and entertaining events outside of the school/lab environment so we can better enjoy our time in Ann Arbor and the people we spend our time with.
  • Creating high-strength aluminum alloys is an important task for the transportation industry. My research focuses on creating high-strength aluminum metal-ceramic composites that retain their strength at high temperatures. My advisor is Dr. Alan Taub
  • I am a mutant! (2 extra vertebrae, can lock fingers)
  • gladaaro@umich.edu

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Lamia Dawahre

  • Master’s Representative, Social Committee Co-Chair. I bridge current Masters’ students and GSC.
  • Fabrication of low-cost and high-efficiency solar cells is crucial for feasible large-scale manufacturing. My work focuses on solution processing of new photovoltaic copper metal chalcogenide absorber materials.  My advisor is Professor Poudeu.
  • I love to paint! (I am a grandmother at heart)
  • ldawahre@umich.edu

GSC Calendar