AMUG Picks 2019 Scholarship Recipients

Dr. Wenchao Zhou and Victoria Sears to be honored at AMUG 2019.

Dr. Wenchao Zhou and Victoria Sears to be honored at AMUG 2019.

Victoria Sears and Dr. Wenchao Zhou, AMUG’s 2019 scholarship recipients. Image courtesy of AMUG.

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has picked the recipients of its scholarships. Wenchao Zhou, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering at the University of Arkansas (UA), has been awarded the Randy Stevens Scholarship. Victoria Sears, who is pursuing a master’s degree in bioengineering at the University of Michigan (UM), has been awarded the Guy E. Bourdeau Scholarship. With these recognitions, Dr. Zhou and Sears will engage with additive manufacturing (AM) users at the AMUG Conference, which will be held in Chicago, IL, March 31–April 4, 2019.

The scholarships recognize a passion for AM, as a student and as an educator.

“Dr. Zhou and Ms. Sears perfectly reflect what our scholarships seek to reward,” says Brett Charlton, chair of the AMUG Scholarship Committee. “Our pool of candidates was large, and the quality of the applicants was quite high. These factors made it a challenge to select the right individuals, but I believe that both of our recipients are truly deserving of this honor.”

Victoria Sears’ research for her master’s degree is on bioink for AM. Her goal is to optimize the bioprintability and study the resulting regenerative properties. “Prior to starting the thesis, she had no experience in cell culture structure,” Dr. Ghosh, associate professor in UM’s Bioengineering Program, says of Sears. “Coupled with the eagerness to learn and the ability to grasp concepts, I am confident that she will successfully complete her thesis.” 

Sears first developed a passion for AM through internships. Working in AM research and development at 3D Systems and Ford Motor Company, she acquired firsthand experience with several AM processes; compounded her own filaments; and developed post-processing techniques to improve color and surface finish of power bed fusion parts. She also became actively involved in the AM community during her internship at SME where she supported the Medical Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing Work Group. 

“The scholarship will not only allow me to make strong connections with those involved in the industry, but it will also greatly expand my knowledge on the latest technologies to prepare me for a future where I will be in the forefront in actively coalescing additive manufacturing and the medical field,” says Sears.

Dr. Wenchao Zhou has multiple roles within the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UA. He is an assistant professor, lab director and researcher. Beyond the university, he helps K12 students learn AM through a community-service-oriented and project-based organization called EAST Initiative.

“I sincerely believe that Dr. Zhou’s efforts in AM education and research will broaden the uses and applications of AM and promote the expansion of the AM community,” says Dr. Darin Nutter, UA professor and department head for mechanical engineering.  

Dr. Zhou was recruited by UA in 2014 and selected from over 100 applicants from around the world. In his first year at the university, he developed an AM course, which was later selected as a winner of the AM Curricula Challenge sponsored by America Makes. He founded, and now directs, the university’s AM3 Lab, which has invented new technologies, such as Swarm 3D Printing and Assembly, Microheater Array Powder Sintering (MAPS), and high-frequency inkjet printing. Dr. Zhou is also co-founder and CTO of AMBOTS Inc., a company that is commercializing Swarm 3D Printing technology. 

“With a decade of dedication to the field of AM, my commitment in learning, promoting, and contributing to AM has never been stronger,” Dr. Zhou says. “Attending the AMUG Conference will provide me a great opportunity to communicate with a broader AM user community and gain new perspectives on the uses and applications of AM technologies.”

The Guy E. Bourdeau Scholarship—founded by Guy's wife, Renee Bourdeau, and financially supported by Cimquest, Inc.—is awarded annually to one college student. The Randy Stevens Scholarship, founded by Randy's employer, In'Tech Industries, is awarded annually to one educator that emphasizes or focuses on additive manufacturing.

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