Industry leaders can start from anywhere. For Alan Martinez, a graduate student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, his journey began by being selected to participate in the Association for Materials Protection and Performance’s (AMPP) Leadership Development Program.

The program’s goal is to teach members to be future leaders and serve as AMPP‘s ambassadors, building a network among other recipients. The cohort members are engineers and researchers ready to be future leaders in the materials science industry. Martinez also received the Rising Leaders Award from AMPP at its conference in March, where he was inducted into the program.

“It’s to push us in a direction to serve as ambassadors for future prospective students or young engineers who are looking to be more involved in the organization,” Martinez said. “We have the privilege of building a diverse network from the participants of this program. We learn more about AMPP governance and the structure of the association to understand how to satisfy both the association and industry’s needs.”

Dr. Raymundo Case, professor of practice in the materials science and engineering department and supervisor of the National Corrosion and Materials Reliability Lab at Texas A&M, serves as Martinez’s faculty advisor. He said Martinez has been instrumental in getting into the leadership role.

In the corrosion lab, Case encourages students to have constant interactions with the AMPP as part of their work.

“If they decide to stay in this line of work, it’s going to be very important for them,” Case said. “Although not all of them decide to take that step, Alan has with this work and this award.”

For the next three months, Martinez will have a set of training sessions that include skills such as emotional intelligence, leadership skills and communication and presentation skills. This is combined with three months’ worth of research for a project that Martinez will present to the board of directors of AMPP.

“My project is about how we can increase the membership involvement and how we can get new people that increase diversity in the workforce and strengthen the size through targeted outreach and engagement,” Martinez said. “This is such a big project that is going to help me work more effectively in a team environment.”

The benefit of receiving this award is the ability to learn to become a better leader and listener, which will boost Martinez’s future career.

“We need to create a sustained stream of people in leadership roles, so that’s the idea of Alan being awarded,” Case said. “Professional association is critical in this field. Scientists who move around these fields have a common point in corrosion. The corrosion conference is the largest event of this type for corrosion and corrosion control in the world.”

Martinez looks forward to representing Texas A&M while being in this program and believes leadership will be the biggest takeaway from this program.

“Overall, the program is an amazing experience,” Martinez said. “I will foster the next generation of engineers and how we can make the industry a lot better for everyone to preserve pipeline integrity. Leadership is something you’re born with, but it’s also something that you can learn a lot about, and I will do that through this program.”

April 17, 2023 By Raven Wuebker