GSSM Graduate Wins First Place at National ANTEC Conference

June 6, 2016

The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) is pleased to announce that Mario Krussig, GSSM Class of 2016, won a first place award in the undergraduate poster presentation division at the national Society of Plastic Engineers (SPE) ANTEC Conference on May 25, 2016, in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Krussig, son of Alois and Karin Krussig of Spartanburg County, was the only high school student to present in the undergraduate research category at the conference. His research project, “Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Epoxidized Pine Oil and Acrylated Epoxidized Soybean Oil Blends,” was completed at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) during the summer of 2015 through GSSM’s Summer Program for Research Interns (SPRI).  

He attended the conference with his research mentor, Dr. Srikanth Pilla, assistant professor of automotive engineering at CU-ICAR.

During his time at GSSM, Krussig was the captain of the boys soccer team, the president of the FWD Club and a Natural Helper. He recently received the Spirit of GSSM Award, which is annually awarded to a student who exemplifies character, integrity, passion and respect for his fellow students and the entire school community.

ANTEC is the largest, most respected and well known technical conference in the plastics industry. For over 70 years, ANTEC has successfully expanded from the U.S. into Europe, India and the Middle East with further expansion to global locations in the coming years.

The event featured technical and business presentations on new and updated technologies, panels and tutorials, networking events and student functions - all providing attendees with face-to-face interaction with expert representatives from the largest industry segments.

“I want to thank the faculty and staff at GSSM and CU-ICAR who helped me with my research. They really made this possible,” said Krussig. “I’m really excited that SPRI exists and I’m thankful for those who fund it.” 

SPRI and its international arm, the Research Experience Scholars Program (RESP), are exciting programs unique to GSSM. For six weeks between their junior and senior years, students conduct research at university or corporate R&D facilities under the mentorship of professional scientists, entrepreneurs or engineers.  Most of the students work with their research mentors and GSSM advisors during the senior year to compile and analyze their research findings, prepare formal research papers, and present their work at a school-sponsored colloquium and at the SC Junior Academy of Science annual meeting.

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