Polymer Materials Engineering Open House and Alumni Gathering

Close up of a man's outstretched hands holding colored plastic granules.

Event Details




PME Open House | 1:00-4:00 p.m. PT
WWU Campus
Ross Engineering Technology Building, Room 113

Alumni Gathering | 5:30-9:00 p.m. PT
Featuring the Retirement
of Nicole Hoekstra

Squalicum Boathouse
2600 N Harbor Loop Dr
Bellingham, WA 98225



Brought to you by:

Polymer Materials Engineering Program, The Foundation for WWU & Alumni


We are excited to invite you to attend two upcoming events on June 7, 2024. We've got a lot to catch up on and want to hear about your life and share with you what is happening here at Western!

Open House | 1:00-4:00 p.m. PT

The PME (formerly PCE and PET) faculty, staff, and students will be hosting an open house with the following events:

  • Senior Project Poster Session
  • Research Poster Session
  • Student Club Demos
  • Lab and Makerspace Self-Guided Tours

WWU Campus
Ross Engineering Technology Building, Room 113
Free Event

Student Showcase Map for Engineering Tech 113

A floorpan showing the location of student showcases in Ross Engineering Tech building.

Guide to Student Projects

Class projects for Polymer Circularity course (exhibit #1)
Duncan Woodward
Student teams researched pathways for materials that are difficult to recycle.

Characterization of the Recycled Content of Polymers (exhibit #2)
Meghan Gillaspy, Calvin Graff

Development of a model to quantify the concentration of recycled material in ABS parts. To create this model, multiple characterization methods were used to identify trends in the various properties of the material.

Mechanical Recycling of Ocean Plastic HDPE Net and Rigids for Blown Film (exhibit #3)
Lila Rockwood, Jayme McAdam, Mia Knipe, Abby Knipe, and Mato Jacoby

This research is focused on recycling and characterization of ocean plastic HDPE trawl nets to be used in blown film applications.

Structure-Property Relationships of Sugar-Derived Polyurethane Acrylate Thermosets (exhibit #4)
Dori Harcharik, Mike Lusk, Halka Inagaki, Alexa Renshaw, Kaela Nyland
Polyurethanes are versatile polymers historically synthesized with petroleum-derived reagents. The goal of this research is to produce a polyurethane resin that replaces one of the petroleum-derived reagents with a bio-based, more sustainable alternative. 

Processing Thermoplastic Composites (exhibit #5)
Nichole Adams, Leia Kaminsky, Calvin Graff
Convergent Manufacturing Technologies

Development of manufacturing procedure for thermoplastic composites. Investigated how the cooling rate and part thickness affect the crystallinity level of the laminate.

Life Cycle Assessment Software for ENGD Classes (exhibit #6)
Brandon Wilmoth
urriculum is being developed using LCA software for numerous ENGD courses.

Joining Thermoplastic Composites and Recycled PEI for Aerospace Interiors (exhibit #7)
Halka Inagaki, Tyrone Woodard, Mars Brady

Investigation of ultrasonic welding as a joining method of 3D printed recycled ULTEM 9085 to a thermoplastic composite panel.

Test Method for Flatwise Tensile Strength of Film Adhesives Bonded to Carbon Fiber Laminate (exhibit #8)
Luke Grant

Development and qualification of ASTM inspired test method to determine the flatwise tensile strength of film adhesives bonded to carbon fiber laminate and optimizing surface preparation methods for bonding to metallic surfaces.

Manufacturing of PMMA-Based Thermoplastic Prepreg Using a Solvent Treater Line 
(exhibit #9)
Luke Grant, Ian LeCloux, Vanessa Leavitt

Scale-up of PMMA thermoplastic prepreg by polymerizing in-situ on a pilot-scale solvent-treater manufacturing line.

Waste to Products Research Team (exhibit #10)
Rachel Heinke, Ethan Granat; Nichole Adams, Emmaline Lenz, Halka Inagaki, Leia Kaminsky
Students process difficult-to-recycle plastics into products usable by current students through outreach workshops.

Adapting Screw-Design for Increased Accuracy of Powder Feeding Based on Material Properties (exhibit #11)
Nicholas Gajkowski, Ingrid Shipstead

Improvement of powder feeding via correlation of material properties to 3D printed screw designs.

Solvent Aided Disruption of PMMA Adhesive for HDPE Recycling (exhibit #12)
Michael Lusk, Emmaline Lenz, Jakob Walz
Local Plastic

Designed and built a machine that removes labels and adhesive contaminates from HDPE. The design and results will be open source to help small-scale recyclers everywhere.

Amorphization of PET (exhibit #13)
Jacob Walz, Emmaline Lenz
Birch Biosciences

Process engineering to reduce crystallinity of recycled PET feedstocks for enzymatic recycling.

Alumni Gathering | 5:30-9:00 p.m. PT
Featuring the Retirement of Nicole Hoekstra

Come and reconnect with peers, faculty, and staff from years past while honoring the legacy of Nicole Hoekstra! Guests are welcome. Light snacks will be provided.

Squalicum Boathouse
Free Event

We look forward to seeing you!

Nicole Hoekstra is a light-skinned women with long brown hair. She has a warm smile and wears glasses and a pink shirt with floral patterns.

Celebrating Professor Hoekstra's Retirement

Professor in the Polymer Materials Engineering Program (formerly PCE and PET) since 1998

Professor Hoekstra's area of expertise is in thermoplastics formulation, processing, mold design and characterization. She has been heavily involved in developing opportunities for students to work with industry partners on applied research projects as part of the engineering curriculum.

Questions and Accommodations

Contact Nikki Larson (larsonn4@wwu.edu) or John Misasi (misasij@wwu.edu) if you have questions about the event.

Advance notice for disability accommodations and special needs is greatly appreciated. Please indicate your special needs on the registration form.

Limited paid parking is available in the C lots at the south end of campus and in lots 6V and 7G at the north end of campus. Western provides comprehensive parking details—including lot locations, applicable fees, and campus map.

A large group of WWU students from the plastics program pose for a photo at an expo event.