"Innovate to improve quality of life."

Margaret Scheiner - Photo 1.jpeg

Margaret Scheiner
Amelia Earhart Fellow
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


My research project is the development of a combined damage monitoring & healing system for polymer composites. These materials could be used in (as one example) composites for aerospace. This means that an airplane that flies through a hailstorm would notify the pilot if any damage had occurred and fix that damage while the plane is still in flight. The system reduces time and cost of damage inspection, cost of repairs, and loss of airtime. It could lead to even greater savings for composite structures in space.

As an industrial engineer, my focus is to improve efficiency. As a materials scientist, my goal is to develop new materials to improve quality of life. Combining the two ideals gives me a unique perspective in how to best achieve material improvements. During the course of my PhD, I have conducted novel research, learned countless new things, developed a worldwide network, and supported/mentored over a hundred students through TA-ing, running summer programs, and service opportunities. My experiences are putting me in a better position to have an impact throughout my career.

My fellowship through Zonta International has introduced me to graduate students around the world all working to improve aerospace technology. It has also connected me to the Zonta network dedicated to empowering women, providing additional opportunities to serve the Tallahassee community and support local women of all ages in STEM through my student group, DreamOn. Having a fellowship, in general, removes financial stressors associated with graduate school. By removing worry about finances, it allows me to take my research to the next level.

As a graduate student, I have published two journal articles, one book chapter, and several conference papers (with associated presentations). I am a region coordinator for the Society of Women Engineers and program coordinator for the Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Department's two summer internship programs. I founded DreamOn, a group dedicated to diminishing the gender bias in STEM fields and have grown it from our 5 founding members to over 450 members. I was awarded 3rd place in the 2013 Ideas with Impact Social Entrepreneurship Challenger, an honorable mention for the NSF's Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the E. Wayne Kay Graduate Scholarship from the SME Educational Foundation, a finalist position in the Three Minute Thesis Competition, the Tony DiBenedetto Student Employee of the Year Award, and Zonta International's Amelia Earhart Fellowship, and I was nominated for FSU's Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. I have also been invited to and attended IISE's Doctoral Colloquium and SWE's Collegiate Leadership Institute, and I will be attending SWE's Academic Leadership for Women in Engineering program this semester with an ASSIST Travel Grant from the NSF.

Margaret was also selected as a Delegate to attend the 2017 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting and has received the 2017-2018 Philanthropic Educational Organization Scholar Award.