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Tech's Highest Honor Awarded to Eleanor Turaski for Academic Excellence, Leadership, and Service
This year, Eleanor (Lily) Turaski, Materials Science Engineering senior, has been awarded the highest honor from the Georgia Tech College of Engineering: the Davidson Family Tau Beta Pi Senior Engineering Cup, recognizing academic excellence, leadership and service.
Turaski is a Stamps President’s Scholar with a 4.0 GPA. In addition to excelling in the classroom, she has seven semesters of research experience in two Georgia Tech labs and has presented her research at four national conferences. For her research endeavors, Turaski was selected for the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship in 2019.
“I have really enjoyed my classes at Georgia Tech, and I am so thankful for our incredible faculty,” Turaski says. “I particularly want to thank my research mentors, Jud Ready and Seth Marder, for giving me a great introduction to materials research and for their advice and encouragement."
Ready remarked, "Turaski was a fabulous student in my lab. She demonstrated leadership and resourcefulness in the research programs she participated in, and it was a pleasure to see her grow and develop scientifically. She is undoubtedly well on her way to becoming a helluva engineer."
School of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Associate Professor Mary Lynn Realff said, “The thing that makes Turaski stand out among her peers is that when she notices a need of any sort, she immediately thinks about how it could be addressed. Once she figures how to do that, she goes right ahead and gets it done.”
As a sophomore, Turaski created an undergraduate leadership team for Women in MSE (WiMSE) to integrate with the graduate team, and she served as the first undergraduate president of WiMSE. She was also instrumental in revitalizing the Material Advantage chapter at Georgia Tech, which was subsequently named one of the top five chapters globally in 2020, and of which she is currently vice president. In 2019, she founded the MSE Peer Partners Organization, which works alongside the MSE advising staff to help students with topics such as course scheduling.
Turaski has also had an impact on K-12 STEM students in Atlanta and across the country through her volunteer efforts with MSE education outreach by participating in panels, leading department tours for prospective students, and demonstrating equipment use. For example, during her tours she explains how math, chemistry, and physics are all important for being able to understand the features of the stress-strain curve. Turaski has been active in the MSE Materials Innovation Learning Laboratory (MILL) make-and-measure space at Georgia Tech on the outreach team and the characterization team, overseeing equipment use and training new users.
The drive for academic excellence that Turaski displays is impressive, but more than that, she has a passion for helping those around her.
“She is a dedicated, thoughtful student, one who strives to build community and advocate for STEM women to magnify their voice,” Realff said. “Turaski stands out among the thousands of students that have passed through my hands over the years just by how effective she has been in making the School of MSE and Georgia Tech a more inviting, inclusive, and diverse community.”
After graduation, Turaski will begin a Ph.D. in materials science engineering at Stanford University, where she will be funded by a prestigious National Science Foundation fellowship.
Tau Beta Pi is the national honor society for engineers, and the Engineering Cup is supported by the family of Narl Davidson, who served as associate dean in the College of Engineering until 2006. Turaski will receive an engraved cup and $5,000 in recognition of her accomplishments.