AMUG announces 2023 scholarship winners

March 1, 2023

Dr Les Kalman (L) and Brent Griffith (R) have been awarded AMUG scholarships and will be participants in AMUG 2023 (Courtesy AMUG)
Dr Les Kalman (L) and Brent Griffith (R) have been awarded AMUG scholarships and will be participants in AMUG 2023 (Courtesy AMUG)

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has announced the recipients of its scholarships: Dr Les Kalman, Assistant Professor in restorative dentistry at Western University (London, Ontario, Canada), has been awarded the Randy Stevens Scholarship for educators in Additive Manufacturing; Brent Griffith, PE, is pursuing a Master of Engineering in Additive Manufacturing and Design through Penn State University (State College, Pennsylvania, USA) and has been awarded the Guy E Bourdeau Scholarship for students in Additive Manufacturing.

As scholarship recipients, Kalman and Griffith will attend the AMUG Conference, scheduled to take place March 19-23, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois. The two will will take the stage to present their work on Monday, March 20, 2023.

The scholarships recognise students and educators demonstrating passion and vision for Additive Manufacturing to advance education and industry. Rajeev Kulkarni, Chair of the AMUG Scholarship Committee, said, “Both of our scholarship winners exemplified a passion for Additive Manufacturing that was triggered many years ago but has not waned. Beyond that, the committee recognized their visions of changing how things are done coupled with diligence to make the changes a reality.”

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Kulkarni continued, “This year, we reviewed an almost record number of submissions. We were impressed with the elevated quality of the work. With every passing year, it is becoming increasingly difficult to pick the top scholarship recipients, which indicates the progress made by the Additive Manufacturing industry.”

Brent Griffith entered the Additive Manufacturing world as a hobbyist during his undergraduate years, but he went on to pursue a master’s degree at Penn State while working at Labconco Corporation, where he manages the AM programme.

“Brent has turned our world upside down, and we are so much better for it,” stated Brandon Gray, Labconco’s VP of Engineering. “He has done (and continues to do) an amazing job identifying innovative Additive Manufacturing solutions to add value to our business. He has demonstrated thought leadership in the field of Additive Manufacturing.”

Griffith’s research through Penn State focuses on the health and safety issues resulting from AM machine emissions. He commented, “My hope is to contribute to existing research and help develop or add to the development of standards regarding the safety of printer operations. Ensuring that the printing process is safe in the long term for operators is important for the future of Additive Manufacturing.”

Griffith also actively mentors and teaches youth groups about AM and its applications.

“Kids, especially younger kids, are unique in that they don’t yet have enough experience to fully grasp what is and isn’t possible, which I have found results in a high level of creativity. When you can help pair that level of creativity with a technology like Additive Manufacturing, you get to witness some really inspiring things happen,” he said on the experience.

Dr Les Kalman is an Assistant Professor at Western University, where he teaches and conducts research, with a focus on improving the clinical experience through optimisation. In this work, Kalman has developed and instructed novel digital dentistry courses, some of which employ an experiential learning hands-on programme with digital scanning, CAD/CAM, and AM. These courses educate students and dentists on the advantages of Additive Manufacturing and its importance in patient care.

On the research side, Kalman added, “I am currently involved in research that I feel is pushing and advancing the boundaries of 3D printing and Additive Manufacturing in dentistry. As a medical (dental) device researcher, Additive Manufacturing has provided an avenue to fabricate complex geometries and devices that were not previously possible.”

Kalman has stated that his interest in attending the AMUG Conference stems from the many challenges and limitations that researchers face in the current climate. By attending the conference, he hopes to increase collaborative partnerships, benefit from conversations with those outside of dentistry, gain awareness of funding possibilities, and receive technology updates.

Oh his behalf, Dr Yara Hosein, former Director of Operations at ADEISS, stated, “I have always found Dr Kalman to be a passionate professor and researcher, innovative in his development of ideas related to the field of dentistry. He possesses research experience, teaching expertise, and an inquisitive and invested interest in the future of Additive Manufacturing for the dental industry.”

Thomas Nguyen, DMD and Assistant Professor at McGill University, added, “Les has demonstrated excellence in his field by being a well-published clinician and internationally sought-after speaker. He is a renowned expert in the use of 3D printing in dentistry, especially with metal and zirconia. Dr Kalman has also demonstrated leadership in his field as he served on the board of directors of many organisations and associations. He is so deeply committed to his career that he not only takes opportunities to learn, but practically creates opportunities to expand his knowledge and experience.”

The Guy E. Bourdeau Scholarship – founded by Guy’s wife, Renee Bourdeau, and financially supported by Cimquest, Inc. since 2019 – is awarded annually to one college student. The Randy Stevens Scholarship – founded and financially supported by Randy’s former employer, InTech Industries – is awarded annually to one educator focusing on Additive Manufacturing.

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