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Chemical Engineering Student Gunned Down

I did heard and read the news about the mass killing in Virginia Tech recently. However, I did not notice, a brilliant female chemical engineering student who was about the graduate was among those who were killed. It's a very sad moment and a terrifying incident. I just hope it won't happen anywhere again. It's just a disastrous moment. Following is a story about the unfortunate chemical engineering student, a lost to the chemical engineering community.

On last Monday morning (16th April 2006), 32 students and faculty members at Virginia Tech were gunned down by another student. Miss Turner, a highly-talented student who was just three weeks away from graduation (with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering.), was one of 33 people killed in the shooting spree by 23-year-old Cho Seung-Hui.

She worked in Eastman's Polymer Process Technology in Kingsport in the summer of 2005 and researched processes for making PETG. Dan Martin was her mentor.

"Maxine had a love of doing engineering work more than many of the students I had ever worked with. She was an excellent student who had a love for life," Martin said.

Susan Harris, senior staffing representative and student programs coordinator for Eastman, said Turner was an outgoing and energetic young woman.

"She was a high academic achiever and a strong leader on campus. She was very well-liked by our other Eastman co-ops and interns," Harris said.

Turner, originally from Vienna, Va., was in Norris Hall on the Virginia Tech campus Monday morning when another student, Cho Seung-Hui, started firing apparently indiscriminantly on anybody and everybody in sight. He killed 30 people in Norris Hall before turning the gun on himself. Cho is also suspected of killing another student and a resident adviser in a campus dormitory earlier that morning.

James Medlin, who was Turner's supervisor during her internship at Eastman, said she was the principal organizer of the Virginia Tech chapter of the Alpha Omega Epsilon engineering sorority.

She was also the recipient of the Eastman Excellence in Chemical Engineering Scholarship and was selected based on her academic achievements, leadership activities, and good communication skills.

"She was an impressive young woman," Medlin said. "This is sadder than any words can convey."

Eastman spokeswoman Betty Payne said Eastman typically recruits from Virginia Tech and often has interns and co-op students from the university. After Monday's shooting, Eastman staffing personnel contacted its current Virginia Tech students to "to make sure that everyone was OK."

"They found out about Maxine yesterday morning," Payne said.

She said an Eastman staffing representative traveled to Blacksburg on Wednesday to meet with the company's interns and co-op students on campus, "just to touch base with them and see if there is anything we can do to help."

"It's just been a real tragedy," she said.

Her aunt Jane Amond, 44, and grandmother Pat Turner, 74, live in Malbrook Road, in Earlham. Several other family members are also from Norwich and all are said to be “devastated” by her death.

Maxine's aunt told the Evening News: “We can't believe it has happened. She was a very lovely person, she had a brilliant future ahead of her and she's gone now.

“She was a very bright, happy, talented, intelligent person. She was going to graduate in May and had already got herself a job sorted out. She and her mother had been looking at apartments.

“But that's now gone, it's such a waste and we can't believe it.

“They were a very close family and very proud of each other.”

Maxine's grandmother Pat, 74, said the family were finding it difficult to talk about. She said: “Everybody is finding it too upsetting.”

Jane Gardner, a human resources administrator at Gore who was involved with hiring Maxine, told an American newspaper: “There are students that have kind of a twinkle in their eye, and she was one of them. She was a bright young woman with a lot of potential.”

The popular student also acted as a public relations manager for the university's Tae Kwon Do club, volunteered at an animal shelter and wanted to take up dog breeding as a hobby some day, the newspaper reported.

While at university Maxine helped to found a chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon, a sorority for women in engineering.

Last week she volunteered her time to show young female engineering students around Roanoke, in Virginia, showing them the potential and opportunities for women in engineering.

She was one of very few female chemical engineers and founded the sorority to ensure members had the support they needed to succeed in their male-dominated industry.

On the group's website, she wrote: “We formed this sorority as a place for females who had never had female friends, as a chance for them to meet great girls with similar interests.

“Also for anyone looking for a support group, since engineering is challenging. Lastly, as a chance to build professional skills to help girls after graduation.”

On a popular social networking site, Maxine described the job she had lined up after graduation as “awesome”.

She had planned to take some time off this summer before joining W.L. Gore & Associates, the maker of Gore-Tex, a waterproof, breathable fabric popular in outerwear, in its Maryland office.

“Not sure what I'll be doing yet, but they are AWESOME,” she wrote of her future employer on her Facebook site.

Story adopted from TimesNews. Read more at Evening News and TorontoSun.

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posted by Kipas Repair JB @ 11:08 AM,


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The Author


I’m Zaki. I used to be a project, process and chemical engineer. Few years ago I successfully became a Chartered Engineer (IChemE) and Professional Engineer (BEM). I'm now employed as a chemical engineering educator/researcher/consultant. Hope you like reading my blog. I welcome any feedback from you. My email: zaki.yz[alias]gmail.com. TQ!

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