Spring 2023 PhD/Masters Commencement

Commencement Speaker

Julie A. Fream

Commencement Speaker, Julie A. Fream

Julie A. Fream is the president and CEO of MEMA Original Equipment Suppliers. The association represents the voice of automotive suppliers and champions their business interests. Named to the role in 2013, Julie has four decades in automotive, including roles for both OE manufacturers and suppliers in manufacturing, engineering, program management, sales, marketing, and communications. She is a member of the Ford Supplier Council, the Stellantis Supplier Council and the Nissan North America Supplier Advisory Board representing the interests of the automotive supplier community.

In 2016 and 2021, Fream was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as one of “Michigan’s Most Influential Women.” In 2015 and 2020, she was listed as one of the “100 Leading Women in the Automotive Industry” by the Automotive News. Fream is the chair of the Board of Directors at Corewell Health and is on the Board of Directors of the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Fream holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Michigan Technological University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Student Speaker

Tinuade Ololade Folayan

PhD/Master's Student Speaker, Tinuade Ololade Folayan

In making the decision about which Grad school to attend, Tinu had no specific sentimental reason, like proximity to loved ones or friends, familiarity with an alumnus, or even a reference from a faculty or student. From Nigeria, she relied on her filtered Google search results, as she often says, “Google brought me here.” Her Google search indicated that Michigan Tech would offer all she wanted from a graduate program, and she did not think too deeply about anything else.

Upon her acceptance into Michigan Tech, a few family members shared their concerns about the cold weather in Houghton, and she, however, did not know what to expect since she had no reference to compare with, having lived all her life in Nigeria. She was not bothered much as she planned to finish her master’s program quickly. Get in and get out; that was the plan. Tinu ended up staying longer than planned. She decided to get a PhD after starting research on the Direct recycling of Lithium-ion batteries in Lei Pan’s lab in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Since she moved here in 2018, Tinu has had the opportunity to get involved in many things, including being President and Vice president of the National Organization for Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), Social Chair of the African Student Organization (ASO) and most recently she worked as the facilitator for the Write-D program in the department of Chemical engineering. Tinu has fond memories of participating in outdoor activities all seasons of the year.

During her time at Michigan Tech, Tinu earned several awards, including the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship, 2nd Place winner 2022 NOBCChE DuPont Gold competition, NOBCChE Green Chemistry and STEM Education Oral Presentation Award 2021, and SME MPD Student Poster Contest 2022.

Graduating with a PhD in Chemical Engineering and having her Grad school experience at Michigan Tech, she feels that taking that leap; leaving Nigeria, and coming to Michigan Tech is one of the best decisions she has ever made. After graduation, Tinu plans to start a new role as an R&D Senior Engineer with DuPont.