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AM researcher Mihaela Vlasea receives SME engineering award

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Mihaela Vlasea, an engineering professor at The University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada who specializes in additive manufacturing, has been recognized as one of the top young engineers in manufacturing in Canada and the United States. Vlasea, who is associate research director at the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab (MSAM), was honored by the SME association.

Vlasea received one of 15 2020 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer awards from SME, an association for the advancement of manufacturing professionals, academia and communities. The winners come from across the United States and Canada and have all based their research efforts on at least one of the following areas: manufacturing processes, environmental sustainability, additive manufacturing, smart manufacturing, medical device manufacturing, nanomanufacturing, biomedical manufacturing, metalworking fluids, civil and environmental engineering and advanced materials.

Mihaela Vlasea AM award
Mihaela Vlasea, associate research director at the MSAM Lab, University of Waterloo

Sanda L. Bouckley, Executive Director and CEO of SME, said of the winners: “Our 2020 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineers are a diverse group of highly successful young manufacturing practitioners whose careers have already made considerable inroads in manufacturing technologies, operations and processes. They’ll continue to flourish, and we’re eager to see the influence their ongoing contributions will have on manufacturing.”

Vlasea was the only Canadian winner this year: she received both her undergraduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Waterloo. Today, she is a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, as well as the associate research director at the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (MSAM) Lab. Her research primarily focuses on innovative design, process optimization and the adoption of new materials for powder bed fusion and powder bed binder jetting additive manufacturing.

Notably, Vlasea recently participated in an effort led by the MSAM Lab to develop custom 3D printed mask components for COVID-19 prevention, meeting the design guidelines laid out by Health Canada and the National Institutes for Health. The lab also responded to the pandemic crisis quickly, transitioning its production focus to the development of 3D printed materials for face shields in late March, when social distancing measures were put in place across Canada.

The other recipients of the 2020 Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer awards were:

  • Daniel R. Cooper, PhD, University of Michigan Ann ArborMichigan
  • Gabriela Darras, ITC Inc., Peoria, Illinois
  • Ryan Gergely, PhD, General Motors, Warren, Michigan
  • Grace X. Gu, PhD, University of California, BerkeleyBerkeley, California
  • Xi Gu, PhD, Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyPiscataway, New Jersey
  • Ping Guo, PhD, Northwestern UniversityEvanston, Illinois
  • Blake N. Johnson, PhD, Virginia TechBlacksburg, Virginia
  • Feng Ju, PhD, Arizona State University, TempeArizona
  • Nenad Miljkovic, PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaIllinois
  • Brian Post, PhD, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Michael Sealy, PhD, University of Nebraska-LincolnLincoln, Nebraska
  • Qiming Wang, PhD, University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles
  • Rui Zhou, PhD, Apple, Sunnyvale, California
  • Yan Zhou, PhD, Houghton International, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
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