Emma Yang, an industrial engineering researcher at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), has earned a grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) to purchase equipment that prints game-changing tools for exploration of the deep sea and Mars.
About Yang: Yang, an assistant professor in the Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering Department, previously earned her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2019.
About the equipment: The “state-of-the-art hybrid additive-subtractive” manufacturing equipment will help improve the UTA’s capabilities for printing a wide range of metals and alloys, according to a press release from the school.
The machine, which features a high-speed camera, infrared temperature sensor, melt pool monitor and ultrasound inspection, will help Yang and her team identify anomalies during the printing process so that they can be immediately corrected, rather than waiting until after the print is finished.
“This equipment will help us determine how the Navy could use hybrid manufacturing to effectively and efficiently repair and remanufacture parts,” Yang said.
With this machine, if you have a defective part or one that is worn from use, you can just fix the part instead of having to replace it. The Navy could use this on a ship at sea, and if you combine zero-gravity printing, you could eventually print parts where resources and tools are very limited, like on Mars.
With the new equipment, Yang also has plans to create a bilingual English and Spanish virtual training platform for hybrid manufacturing which would integrate research findings generated from the machine.
About the funding: According to the university, the equipment is critical to the next generation of scientists’ and engineers’ education.
The project’s funding reportedly comes from Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Minority-Serving Institution grants given by the DoD to fund programs that improve institutions’ capabilities in conducting research in areas critical to national defense.