The Refractories Institute (TRI) Announces Three Recipients of 2018 Scholarships

TRI (The Refractories Institute) is pleased to announce the three recipients of this year’s scholarships for college students who are pursuing an education related to refractory science. TRI, comprised of approximately 50 member companies that operate in the refractory industry, awards scholarships annually. This year’s recipients are: Larisa Cousineau, University of Waterloo; Alexander George, Alfred University; and Sarah Whipkey, Alfred University.

The academic scholarships are awarded by TRI’s scholarship committee, and are distributed to each student as a one-time grant of $5,000. To be eligible, students must be currently in pursuit of a degree (undergraduate or graduate) in materials science, ceramic engineering, or similar disciplines. Students must be enrolled full-time at a North American college or university. Scholarships are awarded to a limited number of students each year and are based on academic merit and the student’s interest and experience in the field of refractories.

Cousineau is pursuing a Bachelor of Applied Science in Nanotechnology Engineering from the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Canada. She interned at Vesuvius Canada in the quality assurance lab and assisted in development of standardized work instructions for the Project Engineer. Her other internships include AXYZ International, Solvay, and project development with professors at the University of Waterloo.

George is pursuing a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering from the Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y. He interned at Monofrax, working on projects including development of a mold coat using recycled sawdust and grinding waste from block machining processes, improving the efficiency of AZS chemistry conversion to correct for chemistry variations in the melt pool depth, and using GPR (ground penetrating radar) to analyze sidewall block quality.

Whipkey is pursuing a Ph.D. in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University. She has a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Virginia Tech. She has published on densification and grain growth of alumina in the presence of liquid phases in the CaO-Al2O3-SiO2 system. Her current research expands on this topic to further understand the sintering behavior of alumina as the glass phase chemistry changes, both in composition and quantity. By knowing the exact composition of the liquid phase, it is believed that glass formation and reaction processes within refractory ceramics can be better understood and predicted.

For more information about TRI and their scholarship application requirements, visit them on the web at

About TRI

Established in 1951, TRI (The Refractories Institute) is an association of approximately 50 member companies dedicated to providing support and services to manufacturers of refractory materials and products, and suppliers of raw materials, equipment, and services to those in the refractories industry. TRI fosters collaboration, educates the public, and helps members navigate an ever-shifting regulatory landscape. For more information, contact TRI at 1300 Sumner Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115. Phone: 216-241-7333. Fax: 216-241-0105. Email:

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