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Marc Peters

2019 Materials Science and Engineering alumnus

When Marc began his B.Eng in 2014, like many incoming engineering students, he knew very little about materials engineering. However, that changed quickly during his first year of classes. “I was introduced to it in first year with the 1M03 class. I was very interested with how diverse the topics were, from biomaterials, to structural materials, to semiconductors,” said Marc. “The idea that you could end up with a diverse skill set that could be applied to multiple fields excited me.” At the end of first year, Marc chose to continue his education in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
 
Fast forward to the 2018–2019 year, when Marc and his peers were tasked with determining the cause of a discolouration issue seen on sterilization containers used to transport medical equipment for MATLS 4Z06, the final-year capstone course. Working with Dr. Kish and representatives from the company, Marc’s group acquired information from several different analysis techniques such as microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Combining this data with the knowledge of corrosion and failure modes gleaned from their undergrad courses, the group was able to characterize the stain. “It was concluded that the stain was related to the water source used to clean the containers and that it was in fact possible to remove the stain without jeopardizing the containers’ integrity,” Marc said of the project.  
 
One of the goals of the capstone course is to tie together many aspects of the undergraduate education to solve real problems faced by real companies, allowing students to further develop skills that will help them begin their career once they graduate. When asked about how his capstone experience helped him transition to full-time employment, Marc replied, “My capstone directly applies to what I do at work and helped me develop a strong approach to investigative analysis. The most important aspect was not jumping too quickly to conclusions with every new bit of data, but rather building up evidence and making the most logical decision based on the evidence. I think this work was definitely a big factor that helped me land the job.”
 
The job that Marc is referring to is his position as a Senior Research Specialist at ArcelorMittal Global Research and Development here in Hamilton, where he is part of a team of over 1500 researchers worldwide dedicated to steel product and process innovation. Marc works in the metallurgical technical investigations group where he performs failure analysis to determine the cause of material defects and characterize products. “I really like the variety of work that I get to do. There are so many combinations of defects and causes that make many cases feel like solving a puzzle,” Marc said when asked about his favourite aspects of the job. “The rapid turnaround of cases also means that casework generally doesn’t get stagnant, but even when it does slow down there are many opportunities to learn and develop new techniques.”