September 16, 2013

Marcin Slaczka and the World of Adhesives

Marcin Slaczka

Marcin Slaczka, Mechanical Engineering, 2013

Co-op Employer:  Institute of Polymer Materials and Dyes

Co-op Position:  Laboratory Technician

Hometown:  Katowice, Poland

After completing high school in northern Massachusetts, Marcin Slaczka (pronounced Mar-chin Sch-lahn-zka) applied and was accepted to Wentworth, which he chose for its reputation in engineering. Fast forward to today, and Slaczka recently graduated as a mechanical engineering technology major with a scientific publication in the Journal of Polymer Science (Part B).

“Not many students have publications on the bachelor’s level,” Slaczka said. “I feel really flattered.”

The paper, “Adhesive Properties of Butyl Rubber Compounds” was originally was published in the Polish “Elastromery” journal in December 2012, at the close of his three-month co-op in Poland. The paper was published for the first time in the English-language journal over the summer.

After Slaczka’s first co-op took him to a remote village in India to install irrigation systems for rural farmers, he began to think about his future after Wentworth and sought a second co-op to help launch a career.

“I decided I needed to do something to strengthen my résumé, so I decided to write a scientific publication,” Slaczka said.

Through a friend in Poland, he found an opportunity to work in the Composite Research Department of Elastomeric Materials in Professor Maria Rajkiewicz’s lab at the Institute of Polymer Materials and Dyes in Torun. He worked alongside another technician on a study examining the adhesive properties of rubber.

“We were looking for a cheaper way to create good rubber compounds,” Slaczka said. The goal of the project was to get a good cohesion of the butyl mass without significantly increasing price.

After three months of work, the team succeeded in discovering alternative fillers to splice the rubber that could ultimately decrease the price of high-quality rubber.

Slaczka found that publishing a scientific paper was similar to completing class projects at Wentworth. 

“When we do projects in class, it’s all about management, and that’s what Wentworth teaches us,” Slaczka said. “We learn time management skills and how to cooperate with others. I noticed our class projects and writing a publication was the same process.”

As Slaczka wraps up classes, he believes his co-op and his publication make him better prepared for the future.

“I think this will help me to get a good job or a master’s degree,” Slaczka said. “I’m proud of it, too.”

Slaczka is currently in Boston looking for manufacturing-related jobs. He hopes to get involved with 3D printing, or to help develop and improve current additive manufacturing technologies.

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