Trageser named engineering science student marshal


By Danica Laub

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Emily Sarah Trageser has been selected as the student marshal for the engineering science baccalaureate degree program for Penn State’s spring commencement ceremony, held virtually on May 9. Trageser will receive a bachelor of science in engineering science and a minor in engineering mechanics.

Gary Gray, associate professor and undergraduate officer of engineering science and mechanics, will be Trageser’s faculty marshal, an honor chosen by the student because of Gray’s mentorship and guidance.

College of Engineering student marshals are selected for their outstanding academic achievements and contributions to engineering student life.

A native of Pittsburgh, Trageser is the daughter of Andrew and Susan Trageser, also of Pittsburgh. She is a 2016 graduate of Fox Chapel Area High School.

A Schreyer Scholar, Trageser completed an honors thesis titled “Development of Optical Limiter Multilayer Coating System for Directed Energy Beam Reflection,” in which she researched reflective optical coatings as a member of the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory, under the advisement of Douglas Wolfe, professor of materials science and engineering. Trageser also served as an undergraduate research assistant at Penn State’s Salinity with Isotopes (SALTS) Laboratory, under the advisement of Nathaniel Warner, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Alandra Kahl, associate professor of energy engineering. In this role, Trageser developed open source conductivity probes for water quality analysis of Pennsylvania watersheds. Her research included programming and prototyping the device hardware and software.

Trageser has been the recipient of multiple scholarships and awards while at Penn State, including the Richard H. McQuade Memorial Scholarship, Vernon H. Neubert Dynamics Award, the Penn State Four-Year Provost Award and the Centennial Award in Engineering Science and Mechanics. Other awards include the President’s Freshman Award, the President Sparks Award and the Evan Pugh Scholar Award. Trageser will graduate summa cum laude.

While earning her undergraduate degree, Trageser served as a teaching intern, aiding in the instruction of dynamics courses and a math study group facilitator for the Women in Engineering Program (2017-2019). She also served as vice president (2019-2020) and secretary (2018-2019) of the Society of Engineering Science, a member of the American Solar Energy Society and a hospitality committee cadet for THON (2019-2020).

Trageser’s international experience includes participation in a study abroad program in Tel Aviv, Israel, as part of the Engineering Entrepreneurship program.

She has participated in a number of competitions during her undergraduate studies, including the Intel AI Challenge at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Be'er Sheba, Israel, the 3M Curiosity Code Hackathon (first place in the Amazon Web Services DeepRacer Competition) and the 3M Amazon Alexa Skills Challenge (second place in designing and implementing a new Alexa program).

Trageser’s internship experience includes 3M, where she collaborated with product development teams to design new systems as a research and development engineering intern in 3M’s Corporate Research Systems Lab. She also interned at Boeing as a commercial aircraft intern, where she designed aircraft cabin and network systems, and in the advanced coatings department of Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory, where she conducted materials research in advanced coatings for Department of Defense projects.

Her extracurricular activities included serving as a backpacking trip instructor, in which she led groups of incoming first-year students on week-long excursions in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire through Penn State’s AURORA Outdoor Orientation Program.

Following graduation, Trageser will attend University of California, Santa Barbara to pursue a doctorate degree in materials science and engineering.


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Megan Lakatos

Emily Sarah Trageser headshot

Emily Sarah Trageser. IMAGE: PROVIDED