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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Hillsborough resident top engineer at URI
Football star aims for career in forensic science

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 16, 2002 -- In the 21st century, state-of-the-art crime fighting requires the best scientific equipment and top-notch scientists to operate it. Hillsborough, N.J. resident Ryan Szczesniak plans to be one of those scientists.

When he graduates from the University of Rhode Island in May as the school’s top chemical engineering student, he’ll be well on his way to a career in the FBI or a state crime lab. He has already worked at URI’s forensic science lab to study counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

"We used an atomic force microscope to scan the surface of pharmaceutical pills to try to identify consistent features. That information could be used in detecting any possible tampering or defects," Szczesniak said.

The next step toward his career goal is a return to URI to earn a graduate degree in chemical engineering with an emphasis on forensic science. He hasn’t decided yet whether to focus his graduate research on pipe bomb fragments or bullet ballistics, but both will involve the use of a scanning electron microscope.

Szczesniak’s undergraduate years at URI weren’t all work and no play, however. He earned a full athletic scholarship as the football team’s starting kicker and was named to the Atlantic 10 All-Academic Team in 1999. A dean’s list student every semester, he also was vice president of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society.

Back home in Hillsborough, he worked as a summer camp counselor for the Hillsborough Recreation Department and as a substitute teacher in the township school district.

For Information: Todd McLeish 401-874-7892

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