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Penn State Professor Wins Department of Defense Young Faculty Award

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An engineering professor at Penn State University has received the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award (YFA), the school said in a release.

Reginald Hamilton, an associate professor of engineering science and mechanics, received the award for his research proposal “Additive Manufacturing of Functional Hierarchical Shape Memory Alloy Structures.”

Hamilton will receive funding and mentoring to further develop his research ideas in the context of national security needs.

Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are manufactured in conventional wrought forms. Shrinking down the manufacturing platforms will immensely benefit several applications related to defense, healthcare, and natural disaster response.

Hamilton and his team will investigate additive manufacturing (AM) for tuning the alloy composition, material microstructure and designing lamellar (multilayered) SMA structures.

“To meet application-specific performance metrics, the material designer can alternate lamella composition, for example, SMA and non-SMA layers, and lamellar thickness,” Hamilton explained.

“The designer can customize the 3D build plan — tracks that make up layers with micron to millimeter scale dimensions — as well as the layer orientations.”

The award is given to researchers in junior faculty positions to develop academic scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who will dedicate most their future careers to the Department of Defense and issues concerning national security.

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