PITTSBURGH – The PPG Industries Foundation has donated $120,000 to the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) for its Materials Research Institute (MRI) Student Assistantship Program and additional programming. This marks the third year the PPG foundation has supported Penn State undergraduate students participating in the 10-week summer program, this year funding eight fellowships, as well as one graduate student for a full year’s research along with additional student opportunities.

PPG Industries values Penn State’s MRI programs because they help prepare students for careers in fields related to PPG’s business, such as coatings research and development,” said Sue Sloan, Executive Director of the PPG Industries Foundation. “We’re excited to continue our relationship with Penn State and provide funding that expands opportunities for students and grows our ties with this well-respected research institution.”

Each summer student who is named a PPG Undergraduate Research Fellow conducts a materials research project under an advisor’s supervision, and then summarizes it in a poster presentation held in conjunction with the National Science Foundation-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Jacob Wisser, a 2014 PPG Undergraduate Research Fellow, went on to win a Barry Goldwater Fellowship – considered the most prestigious U.S. award for undergraduate research – for his summer research project.

The 2015 fellows also gave five-minute presentations on their research at the PPG Coatings Innovation Center in Allison Park, PA, on July 29.

The Materials Research Institute encompasses 15 departments in five colleges at Penn State. The university’s engineering departments are committed to driving materials-based research and development, and the National Science Foundation recently ranked Penn State as the nation’s top materials university based on total research expenditures.