Last May, I was honored to receive the SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship, which has allowed me to flourish far beyond my expectations in my freshman year of college at the University of Michigan (UM) in Ann Arbor. In just one brief year, I have learned three different coding languages, designed and built a human-powered electricity generator, and helped to construct an award-winning hybrid Formula One car. Building off the hands-on skills that I had developed through four years in FIRST Robotics, these in-class and extracurricular design experiences at college helped to expose me to new physical concepts; they have allowed me to work with innovative materials; and they have forced me to become comfortable with design software much earlier than many of my peers.
In addition to growing as an engineer, my freshman year at college has allowed me to develop as a well-rounded individual whose interests extend beyond the STEM fields. Due to the generosity of SME, I have been able to fill my time with learning opportunities that extend not only my technical and engineering knowledge, but also my intellectual breadth. In October, for example, I started an indie rock band with other students from my dorm. Since our first practice, we have played nine shows for crowds upward of 250 people, written 13 original songs, and self-recorded and released one single. Beyond that, I have continued to pursue my passion for writing, expanding my understanding of both poetry and creative essays, which I have submitted to competitions within the university and beyond. These creative interests have greatly impacted the way in which I deconstruct complex problems and derive practical solutions, while forcing me to become a better communicator as I interact with a diverse array of people. But indulging such a diverse collection of crafts takes time; so, this past year, I can truly say I have learned the value of an hour, and being allowed to utilize such treasured time to learn and grow has been unbelievable.
The experiences that I have had this year—both in and outside of the classroom—have made my freshman year of college one of the most informative and insightful periods in my life. From the astute professors and researchers that lead my lectures, I have been given a concrete foundation in computer programming, calculus, physics, chemistry, technical communication and sustainability studies, which will allow me to develop into a logical thinker with the capability to converse across multiple disciplines. From my peers and team leaders, I have gained invaluable experience in solving problems, analyzing systems, designing, testing and building; these experiences will complement the abstract knowledge that I have learned in the classroom, enabling me to hone in and refine these skills before entering the workforce in just a few short years. For all the knowledge I have been able to acquire this year, I am indebted to the SME Education Foundation and its generous contribution to my studies, which have given me the opportunity to dedicate my day to learning the principles that have helped me to become a confident and well-informed young engineer, who will, one day, help to progress and revolutionize the field of manufacturing engineering.
Until then, I am enjoying my second summer as a manufacturing engineering intern; this year, I was fortunate enough to secure a position at a small manufacturing facility in southwest Michigan that provides design and development services to other suppliers, in addition to acting as a tier-one supplier of unique die-cast parts—Falcon Lakeside Manufacturing. This summer, I will assist Falcon’s team in continuing to automate its facilities. Without the diverse experiences that the SME Education Foundation Family Scholarship allowed me during my freshman year, I doubt that I would have been blessed with the opportunity to pursue a summer internship such as this, which will allow me to become familiar with the intricacies of industrial robotics, expose me to new simulation software and give me the chance to design extraordinary pieces for a reputable customer-base.
Thank you to SME, the SME Education Foundation and all of its supporters for enabling my career to start so strongly. I look forward to my relationship with SME as I continue down this path.
2017 Additive Manufacturing Awards
On May 8, during SME’s RAPID + TCT event in Pittsburgh, the 2017 Additive Manufacturing Community awards were announced, including the Industry Achievement Award and Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award.
The 2017 Industry Achievement Award was given to Dieter Schwarze, PhD, head of Science and Technology Research at SLM Solutions. Schwarze, who began his research and development work on additive manufacturing and its commercialization in 1989, is one of the primary inventors of selective laser melting.
The community also awarded its 2017 Dick Aubin Distinguished Paper Award to authors Swati Chandran Thirumangalath, Scott Vader and Zachary Vader of Vader Systems. Their award-winning paper—“Liquid Metal 3D Printing: A Magnetohydrodynamic Approach”—describes the characteristics of the liquid metal 3D printing process: a drop-on demand liquid metal printing using Magneto-Jet technology based on Magneto-hydrodynamics and inkjet printing technology.
To learn more about all of the additive manufacturing awards and the various recipients, visit sme.org/additive-manufacturing-community.