The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has announced the recipients of its 2020 scholarships. Katherine Schneidau, who is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Louisville, has been awarded the Guy E Bourdeau Scholarship. Chris Kaminsky, Lakeshore Fab Lab Manager at the Muskegon Community College, has been awarded the Randy Stevens Scholarship. With these recognitions, Kaminsky and Schneidau will have the opportunity to engage with Additive Manufacturing users at the AMUG Conference in Chicago, Illinois, March 22–26, 2020.
AMUG’s annual scholarships honour and recognise one student and one teacher with a passion for AM. Brett Charlton, Chair of the AMUG Scholarship Committee, stated, “I’m so excited to announce that Ms Schneidau and Mr Kaminsky have accepted the scholarships and will attend AMUG 2020. Once again, the pool of applicants was strong, and their experiences were vast. I’m certainly in awe – the experiences of our 2020 applicants in AM are astonishing, and it bodes well for AM’s future! The talent pool made it a challenge to select the right individuals, but both of our recipients are amazing and truly deserving of this honour.”
Schneidau’s first exposure to AM was through an engineering co-op at the U of L Rapid Prototyping Center, where she learned system operation for Stereolithography (SL), Digital Light Processing (DLP®), Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), Laser Powder Bed Fusion (L-PBF) and other AM technologies. She commented, “Within my first month of work, I knew AM was the field I wanted to dedicate my career to.”
As a graduate research assistant, Schneidau was able to share her learnings with others by training and mentoring new co-op engineers to operate the AM equipment. She assisted with metal AM training and served as the lead instructor for one class. She reportedly developed new process parameters for both plastic and metal materials, while also optimising support structures in metal AM.
In one of her projects, she developed a flexible recoater blade for use in EOS M270 and M290 systems, which was a driving factor in her Master’s Thesis titled ‘Understanding the build capabilities and limitations between rigid and flexible recoater blades.’ Through her research, she stated that she has noticed a trend in the lack of available resources on AM, and strongly believes that AM training and education need to be incorporated into higher education.
“In the future, I hope my work with AM training contributes to the creation of a technically competent workforce,” she commented. “Currently, knowledge is held by those who have been in the industry for years, as they have learned from practical experience. Yet, there is a growing demand for engineers and technicians with technical knowledge of AM processes right out of school. Thus, a programme needs to be in place across the US to facilitate industry needs.”
Kaminsky is described as an ‘Additive Manufacturing evangelist’ working towards demystifying the complexities of AM and design by making it accessible to everyone. To help do so, he co-founded the MI3D organisation, which supports over 500 AM enthusiasts with local events. He is also involved in online communities such as the 3D Printing Club (www.3DPC.tech), where discussions can range from basic concepts to advanced topics.
He is a regular guest speaker on AM, speaking to audiences ranging from K-12 students to adults at industry events. He also offers prototyping and design services through his company, Crisco Designs. His recent work experience is said to include application/mechanical engineering roles at General Motors, Burton Precision, Perception Engineering, and JR Automation.
As the winner of the Randy Stevens Scholarship, Kaminsky stated that he hopes to return from the AMUG Conference with knowledge from industry leaders across the world which he can use to inspire his staff, volunteers and community to develop transformative solutions.