Bladesmithing Team Attends TMS 2020

The newly formed club presented a project during a special bladesmithing symposium. The club is looking for new members to join them at TMS 2021 in Orlando.
Bladesmithing Team Attends TMS 2020

Jackson Eilers,* Cameron Cafmeyer, Donovan McPherson,* Arianna Wu, Grant Saxman*, Deesha Shah, Harrison Teutschbein, Ella Leininger, Karen Ni*, Evan Raeker* (*Bladesmithing team member)

The U-M Bladesmithing Club participated in the TMS annual conference for the first time this past February in San Diego. It was a great opportunity for students to get involved in a professional conference and enjoy experiential learning beyond the core undergrad curriculum. With the help of MMS funding and Giving Blueday donors, the MSE department was able to send 10 undergrads, including five members of the club: Jackson Eilers, Donovan McPherson, Karen Ni, Evan Raeker, and Grant Saxman. Students attended research talks on a wide variety of cutting-edge materials science topics, and members of the club presented the project they had been working on throughout the school year at the bladesmithing symposium. 

The club’s work focused on characterizing and analyzing the effects of differential heat treatments on a tanto (a traditional Japanese short sword) using modern materials and techniques. The project was accomplished using tools in the Van Vlack Laboratory and leveraging skills learned in their MSE lab courses. Club members were fortunate enough to meet with Dr. Jeffery Wadsworth of Battelle, a major sponsor of the conference, who attended the latter part of their presentation.

“Since the bladesmithing team had just formed this past year, it encouraged me to quickly step up and complete tasks that normally students with a few years of experience on a team would perform,” said Karen Ni. “It's definitely a great leadership opportunity and it's a huge step into the professional world!”

“By being on this team, I was able to apply my knowledge in MSE to a hands-on project,” added Evan Raeker. “I am proud of the work we did and I definitely recommend joining this team if you have interests in metallurgy and materials testing & characterization.”

The club is currently making plans for the upcoming TMS 2021 Conference in Orlando, where there will be a bladesmithing competition in place of a symposium. The blade will be judged primarily on aesthetics and historical significance, and will be presented in the form of a poster, technical report, and a display piece. Members were able to familiarize themselves with other schools’ projects during the conference and are planning on selecting a blade that incorporates knowledge and skills developed in the previous year’s endeavors. In addition, the club is actively seeking younger members to take part in future TMS conferences. If you are interested in learning more about the Bladesmithing Club, please contact club advisor .

 --Story by Jackson Eilers