Additive Manufacturing Users Group Awards Two Scholarships

Dr. Les Kalman, Assistant Professor in restorative dentistry at Western University, and Brent Griffith, P.E., graduate student at Penn State University, have been selected.

Dr. Les Kalman, Assistant Professor in restorative dentistry at Western University, and Brent Griffith, P.E., graduate student at Penn State University, have been selected.

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) announces 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, P.E., is pursuing a Master of Engineering in Additive Manufacturing and Design through Penn State University (State College, Pennsylvania) 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, where they will engage with additive manufacturing users. They will take the stage to present their work on Monday, March 20, 2023. The AMUG Conference will be held in Chicago, IL, from March 19-23, 2023.

Dr. Les Kalman (left) and Brent Griffith. P.E., have been awarded AMUG scholarships and will be participants in AMUG 2023. Image courtesy of AMUG.

The scholarships recognize students and educators demonstrating passion and vision for additive manufacturing to advance education and industry.

“Both of our scholarship winners exemplified a passion for additive manufacturing that was triggered many years ago but has not waned,” says Rajeev Kulkarni, chair of the AMUG Scholarship Committee. 

“This year, we reviewed an almost record number of submissions,” says Kulkarni. “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's passion for additive manufacturing was ignited during his undergraduate studies when he received a 3D printer kit as an early graduation gift. Years later, he elected to further his additive manufacturing expertise by pursuing a master's degree through Penn State while working at Labconco Corp., where he manages the company's additive manufacturing program. 

Brandon Gray, Labconco's VP of Engineering, says, “Brent has turned our world upside down, and we are so much better for it. 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 printer emissions. He says, “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 additive manufacturing and its applications. He says, “I have taken every opportunity to use additive manufacturing to teach and help kids learn either directly or indirectly about the technology. 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.”

Dr. Les Kalman, who teaches and conducts research, says, “In all of my teachings, I try to focus on improving the clinical experience through accuracy, efficiency, or communication. That is why 3D printing has become an important component in my teaching.” 

Kalman has developed and instructed digital dentistry courses, some of which use an experiential learning hands-on program with digital scanning, CAD/CAM, and 3D printing. 

On the research side, Kalman says, “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.”

By attending the conference, Kalman hopes to increase collaborative partnerships, benefit from conversations with those outside of dentistry, gain awareness of funding possibilities, and receive technology updates.

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, In'Tech Industries—is awarded annually to one educator focusing on additive manufacturing.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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