Scholarship Winners Reflect a Bright Future

What is the most important thing that a bright engineer can build? A bright future! The first four recipients of ASPI’s Engineer of the Future scholarship reflect that future for our industry.

Brand new for 2023, ASPI will offer the award annually to selected students pursuing their education in paper and related industries. This scholarship not only provides recognition for the recipient, but promotes ASPI’s mission of supporting industry performance.

ASPI is proud to introduce this year’s Engineer of the Future scholars. Congratulations!

alyssa kirsling

Alyssa Kirsling

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

A sophomore at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point, Kirsling is pursuing a double major in Paper Science and Chemical Engineering, with a minor in Chemistry. During her spring 2023 semester, she did a full-time co-op as a process engineer at Pixelle. “This has allowed me to gain hands-on experience in the paper industry; it has been a great opportunity for me to apply critical thinking and communication skills while utilizing the knowledge I gained in school to solve challenges that the papermaking industry faces,” she says.

In her free time, Kirsling plays marimba with the UWSP Percussion Ensemble and enjoys helping on her family farm.

michael sommers

Michael Sommers

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

Sommers is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point, double majoring in Paper Science and Chemical Engineering with a minor in Chemistry. He holds officer positions with both the student chapter of AIChE and UW’s TAPPI student chapter. He comments, “Paper science is a niche field of study and there is a multitude of career opportunities. After experiencing life in a paper mill and working alongside process engineers, I found that it is an environment that I could flourish in.”

A recent co-op at Pixelle gave Sommers a chance to work on several engineering projects related to safety, quality, efficiency, and environmental impact.

hans stelpflug

Hans Stelpflug

University of Wisconsin Stout

Stelpflug is a senior at the University of Wisconsin—Stout studying Construction Management. During his time at Stout, he served in leadership roles for the Mechanical Contractors Association of America Competition Team (MCAA), SLC Construction Honors Society, Men’s Club Volleyball, and Sport Clubs Commission. “I am passionate about organizational leadership and have dedicated myself to becoming a future leader in construction,” he says. “Through internships, education, and campus involvement experience, I have been able to learn many things about the construction industry.”

With several co-ops under his belt, Stelpflug is currently working for The Boldt Company as a project engineer intern.

Katy Zaborowski

University of Western Michigan

Now in her third year in WMU’s paper engineering program, Zaborowski is a member of TAPPI Ts’ai Lun, the WMU paper engineering registered student organization. “Being in Ts’ai Lun has given me many opportunities to engage in paper industry related activities (such as) internships and co-ops,” says Zaborowski. “This year I traveled with my class to TAPPI Student Summit in Cincinnati. It was an amazing experience as I was able to meet and talk to many paper professionals who offered great career advice.”

Among other duties performed during her recent co-op with Greif, Zaborowski spent time diagnosing and documenting water quality input/outputs for improved environmental impacts.