In the weeks leading up to the Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each honoree in more detail here on our blog. Today, meet Steven Storck ’08, mechanical engineering, M.S. ’09, mechanical engineering, and Ph.D. ’14, mechanical engineering, additive manufacturing engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and this year’s Distinguished Service honoree.
As a triple alumnus of UMBC, Steven Storck ’08, mechanical engineering and mathematics, M.S. ’09, mechanical engineering, and Ph.D. ’14, mechanical engineering, knows his way around campus, to say the least. In addition to his day job as an additive manufacturing application engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, he still makes his way back to UMBC frequently, both as an instructor and an advisor for the school’s Baja SAE team. This is the place where he first discovered his passion for research, and he says he had a lot of support throughout his academic career. “If you were willing to put in the work and had a good idea, everyone at UMBC seemed to encourage you to take on the challenge, no matter how large,” he writes. Storck began his research during his sophomore year at UMBC, when he took over a project from a graduate student who had left. As he continued his education, he had more and more opportunities to delve deeper into his study of materials science and engineering, and was eventually able to apply for a Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowship as a doctoral student. That funding allowed him to develop a material over four times lighter and six times stronger than the current state of the art, and his findings earned him top honors from the Society of Advanced Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE). Today, at the APL, Storck heads up research and development for various projects, most notably an additive manufacturing technology demonstration part for NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which is hoped to be the first spacecraft ever to “touch” the sun. He’s also lent his considerable project-management skills to the UMBC SAE Baja team; in 2015, he organized UMBC’s first international Baja event. “This was particularly rewarding,” he writes, “because it allowed [our team] to highlight UMBC on a global stage.”