AMUG awards scholarships to Akila Udage and Frank Marquette

March 16, 2022

Akila Udage (left) and Frank Marquette (right) were named as AMUG scholarship winners (Courtesy AMUG)

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has announced the recipient of its Randy Stevens Scholarship for educators in Additive Manufacturing and its Guy E Bourdeau Scholarship for students in Additive Manufacturing. The scholarships recognise students and educators who demonstrate passion and vision for Additive Manufacturing to advance education and industry.

Frank Marquette, Professor of Practice at Troy University, Alabama, USA, has been awarded the Randy Stevens Scholarship. Akila Udage, who is pursuing a PhD in architectural science with research focusing on Additive Manufacturing for lighting at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Troy, New York, received the Guy E Bordeau Scholarship.

As scholarship recipients, Marquette and Udage will attend the AMUG Conference, scheduled to take place April 3-7, 2022, in Chicago, Illinois. The two men will take the stage to present their respective work on April 4.

“It is amazing to see how our scholarship applicants are applying 3D printing to change the world; it is incredibly inspiring!  Every year, there are new applications, new stories, and new ideas that show another level of how AM is leaving its footprint on our world,” stated Brett Charlton, chair of the AMUG Scholarship Committee. “This year’s scholars are using 3D printing to advance education, the arts, construction, lighting, radio signalling, and heat dissipation, which are end-product applications, proving that Additive Manufacturing is more than just prototyping.”

Akila Udage was exposed to Additive Manufacturing while pursuing his master’s degree at the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at RPI. As a graduate research assistant, Udage’s work focused on integrating Additive Manufacturing into LED lighting systems. As part of his research, Udage has been analysing the advantages and challenges of developing structural, thermal, electrical, and optical components for LED systems using Additive Manufacturing.

Udage’s efforts on additively manufactured optics focus on the building of novel lenses for illumination applications, and he has been involved in the characterisation of additively manufactured reflective and transmissive optical components. He has also been developing additively manufactured antennas and evaluating the effect of Additive Manufacturing properties on electrical traces. Udage has also been studying the thermal properties of additively manufactured components used as heat sinks for LED applications. He has recently been involved in projects to build custom architectural lighting through Additive Manufacturing to take lighting to a more creative level.

Frank Marquette had a wide-spanning career in manufacturing before entering higher education. Based in New Zealand, his company delivered projects ranging from automatic guided vehicles for Disney Imagineering ride systems to building sets for the motion picture industry, including The Lord of the Rings.

Marquette was awarded a professorship at Troy University in 2017, where he has been teaching design and the implementation of automation for fabrication and manufacturing. In 2020, he launched a minor and associate of science degree in Additive Manufacturing for art and industry. These courses begin with design fundamentals and offer extensive applied learning experiences in the Additive Manufacturing printing lab. The programme’s emphasis is large format Additive Manufacturing and sustainable materials.

“From the start, we worked with KW Plastics, the world’s largest plastics recycler, and established the first WASP (World’s Advanced Saving Project) university hub in the United States. All of the collaborators for this work have a focus on sustainability and appreciate the value of industry and education working together,” Marquette stated. “It has been wonderful having students with different interests learning from each other’s unique perspectives and strengths. Put an electronic engineering student on a project with a graphic design major and watch what happens.”

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