• Press Release

The Recycling Research Foundation Announces the Winner of the 2015 National Scholarship

Sean Kelly focuses studies on optimizing the recycling process

(Washington, DC) - The Recycling Research Foundation (RRF), a nonprofit organization closely associated with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), today announced Sean Kelly as the recipient of its 2015 National Scholarship. Recognizing the need for affordable graduate education, the scholarship awards $5,000 to an individual seeking a graduate degree in a field that supports the scrap processing and recycling industry as a whole.

“The Recycling Research Foundation is proud to honor Sean Kelly with this scholarship as he pursues an education that will well-prepare him for a future in the recycling industry,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener. “One of the goals of this scholarship is to generate interest in recycling careers and there is no doubt that with the knowledge he gains from his education, Sean will be able to make significant contributions to the recycling industry in many areas.”

Sean received his B.S. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Biomedical Engineering in 2014, and is currently pursuing his M.S. in Material Science and Engineering at the school’s Metal Processing Institute. Sean’s research focuses on scrap characterization to optimize the recycling process as a function of polymeric and metallic composition. In addition, he is also working with the Aluminum Association researching the recycling rate of automotive aluminum in the U.S. Sean’s current research is being expanded as a dissertation for his PhD.

“It is a great honor to accept the ISRI National Graduate Scholarship,” said Kelly. “First and foremost, I would like to thank the ISRI scholarship review committee for selecting me. Opportunities like this, which enable one to continue to pursue academic and research related goals, increase motivation and the desire to make a difference in our world today. I am very appreciative of my advisor and mentor, Professor Diran Apelian, for without him none of this would be possible. I will continue to strive to achieve my goals in the recycling industry, as well as the material science and engineering field as a whole.”

Sean hopes for a career in the recycling industry in order to help with both legislative and technological advances toward a world that is self-sustainable. He would like to dedicate most of his time to working with old scrap because he feels that is where the most efforts are needed in order to close the loop for recycling all material systems.
“The focus on recycling materials interests me because developing and maintaining sustainable material systems is critical to the advancement of human life on this planet as materialistic demand continues increase regardless of the finiteness of natural resources,” said Sean. “Due to this, technologies and legislation must be developed and enforced so obsolete, end of life products can be processed and critical materials recovered, recycled, and re-used at the highest of recycling rates. I strive to be a large part of the effort needed to reach complete material sustainability.”

The Recycling Research Foundation’s mission is to promote the art and science of scrap processing and recycling through research, sponsorships, technical assistance, and educational programs for the purpose of advancing the industry. Over the last 10 years, the Foundation has fulfilled this mission in two primary areas; the offering of scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate students, and the funding of research beneficial to the industry. Since 2002, the Foundation has awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships to more than 700 students and has overseen much needed research into the recycling of electronic scrap.

Picture available upon request.


The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is the Voice of the Recycling Industry™. ISRI represents more than 1,600 companies in 21 chapters nationwide that process, broker and industrially consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, DC, the Institute provides safety, education, advocacy, and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade, the environment and sustainable development.

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