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MRS Press Release

MRS and TMS Announce 2016-2017 Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow

June 29, 2016
Press & Public Relations Contact:

Ryan Rebholz
Communications Manager
Materials Research Society

WARRENDALE, PA—The Materials Research Society (MRS) and The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) have selected Aaron Dunn, Georgia Institute of Technology, as the 2016-2017 MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow. Dunn will serve a one-year term working as a special legislative assistant on the staff of a member of Congress or congressional committee.

Dunn will begin his fellowship in early September in Washington, D.C., starting with an intensive science policy orientation facilitated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) designed to introduce Executive Branch Fellows and Congressional Fellows from more than three dozen scientific societies to the fellowship program. Following orientation, the new Fellow will go through an interview and selection process with offices of senators, representatives or committees on Capitol Hill. Offices will extend offers, and Dunn will choose the office in which he will spend his fellowship year.

"I think of the MRS/TMS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship as the opportunity of a lifetime," said Dunn. "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to the legislative process, and I think my unique background and varied experiences will help me to make a positive impact on science and education policy."

The purpose of the Congressional Fellowships program is to bring technical and scientific backgrounds and external perspectives to the decision-making process in Congress. Typically, Fellows conduct legislative or oversight work, assist in Congressional hearings and debates, prepare briefs and write speeches as a part of their daily responsibilities. By applying his scientific expertise in this policy environment, Dunn will help to broaden awareness of the value of scientist- and engineer-government interaction.

Each year, following a formal application process, finalists are interviewed and a Fellow is selected by committees comprised of volunteer members from MRS and TMS. For more information on the selection process, visit the MRS website.

About the MRS/TMS Fellow

Dunn earned his BS and BA degrees in physics and mathematics, respectively, from Rice University in 2008, and his PhD degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) in 2016. His doctoral research focused on the development of stochastic computational tools for efficient simulation of radiation damage accumulation in metals in the research group of Dr. Laurent Capolungo. Dunn served as the Sandia National Laboratories/Georgia Tech Excellence in Engineering Fellow (2014-2016). Prior to that, Aaron's research was funded by the European Commission under project RADINTERFACES, leading to three years of study at Georgia Tech Lorraine in Metz, France.

Between his undergraduate and graduate studies, Dunn served as a member of Teach For America's 2008 corps, teaching high school geometry and AP calculus at YES Prep Southeast in Houston, Texas. During that time, he served in leadership positions both within Teach For America as a corps member advisor and at YES Prep as a cross-country coach.

Dunn's policy interests are influenced by his unique combination of experiences and range from STEM education to energy and climate policy. Additionally, he is excited for the opportunity to learn about, and contribute positively to, the legislative process in all areas of policy.

Photo of Dunn available upon request at fornataro@mrs.org.

About the Materials Research Society

MRS is an organization of over 12,000 materials researchers from academia, industry and government worldwide, and a recognized leader in promoting the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life. MRS members are students and professionals hailing from physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering—the full spectrum of materials research. Headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania (USA), MRS membership now spans 90 countries, with approximately 45 percent of members residing outside the United States.

MRS serves and engages members across generations to advance their careers and promote materials research and innovation. The Society produces high-quality meetings and publications, assuring that members of all career stages can present and publish their most important and timely work to an international and interdisciplinary audience. MRS continues to expand its professional development portfolio, as well as promote diversity and inclusion in the scientific workforce, with career services for researchers worldwide. The Society advocates for the importance of scientific research and innovation to policymakers and the community. And the MRS Awards program honors those whose work has already had a major impact in the field, as well as those whose work shows great promise for future leadership.

For more information about the Materials Research Society visit mrs.org and follow @Materials_MRS.