Before Marissa Tierno was even admitted to the School of Engineering at Rutgers, she already had a job in the plastics industry. She worked as a research assistant in the Advanced Materials via Immiscible Polymer Processing (AMIPP) laboratories under the supervision of Richard Lehman, Ph.D., professor of materials science and engineering.
"I became interested in polymers because they offer so many avenues/options for R&D and opportunities for replacing metals and other expensive/heavy materials," Tierno said in her Rising Stars survey.
Tierno was an undergraduate research assistant for nearly three years at the Rutgers, AMIPP group. She was also a reliability and inspection engineering intern for PBF Energy in Paulsboro, N.J., where she was the primary investigator of refinery injection points and assessed safety concerns.
In 2015, she graduated from Rutgers with a bachelor's degree in materials science and engineering.
Tierno joined Easton, Pa.-based medical tubing manufacturer Fluortek Inc. as materials engineer, where she was project manager for new process equipment installation, designed and executed research and development trials for product improvement and failure analysis and investigated material quality.
In January 2017, she became new product development manager, her current role. She said she is expected to become engineering manager within the next two months or so.
Tierno, 26, will begin the Master of Engineering program in engineering management at Johns Hopkins University in the fall of 2018.
She has authored technical papers for Antec 2013 and 2014 as well as Materials Research Society 2013. She also gave a technical presentation at SPE/Antec 2018 on "High-Performance Materials for Medical Devices."
Tierno said her greatest achievement so far is related to training other individuals — "safety, products, processes, etc." — in addition to her involvement with STEM outreach. She is a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Society of Women Engineers and National Association of Corrosion Engineers.
Professor Lehman at Rutgers is the most influential person in her life, she said.
"I would not be where I am now without his guidance," she said. The most important words of advice she has ever received are to "challenge the status quo," and she also admires fluoropolymer expert Sina Ebnesajjad, who founded FluoroConsultants Group in 2006 and holds six patents.
Tierno speaks English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
To unwind, she enjoys building Legos, practicing yoga, working on crossword puzzles and taking long walks.