Frankie Bonte interns at ASM

Frankie Bonte

A rising junior in Case Western Reserve University's Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Frances "Frankie" Bonte is fascinated by the connection between different fields in the discipline. “As a practicing engineer, I could someday enhance equipment safety, design aesthetically pleasing products, or improve energy efficiencies,” she said. “Pursuing the field of engineering will give me a holistic education where I can draw from past experiences to be a better problem solver and help me reach my goals of servant-leadership.”

This summer, Bonte is experiencing the data aspect of materials science for the first time as a content and publishing database intern at ASM International. “Being immersed in the real application of the data is very fascinating,” she said. Every day, she works with micrograph databases, conducts research for data imports and partakes in meetings with companies that ASM is creating databases for. Her databases include micrographs for many different types of materials, mostly ferrous metals, and draws data from research papers.

Having conducted research on the relationship between materials science and art through history in the past, Bonte has enjoyed compiling data from recent and past papers to be available in ASM's databases this summer. One of the programs she works with, Materials Platform for Data Science, compiles data about crystal structures, phase diagrams and physical properties.

A double major in Materials Science & Engineering and Dance, Bonte first came to CWRU in 2019 to do a presentation at the HamSCI convention, a collaboration between citizen scientists and amateur radio (ham) operators. After learning more about CWRU's engineering and dance departments, she decided she'd found a good match for all her interests. 

When she arrived on campus in Fall 2020, she took Impact of Materials on Society as her SAGES first seminar and was "fascinated with the material and the course." She also took ENGR 145: Chemistry of Materials, and her teaching assistant, Hugh Smith, made an effort to connect with the students and reached out to her about the materials department. Now an ENGR 145 teaching assistant herself, Bonte hopes to be a mentor to others, as Smith was to her.

Back on the CWRU campus, Bonte is public relations director for the Undergraduate Materials Society, the department’s academic and social organization for undergraduate students. She holds leadership positions in numerous other student organizations, including Spartan Cheer, Case Amateur Radio Club W8EDU and Alpha Phi fraternity.

"As an aspiring scientist and artist, I value all of the letters in STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math,” said Bonte. “I do not want to simply see a historic painting, but know the chemical components of the paint through an electron microscope and how the color influences emotion in a viewer over time. How can we make a better battery? What is the impact of ceramics, metals, and polymers on the development of society? Finding the solution to these questions is like when I solder the last piece of the circuit and the LED lights up. I seek to make these connections across fields of study.”