MILWAUKEE, WI – The Additive Manufacturing Users Group announced the recipients of its scholarships.

Dr. Haijun Gong, an assistant professor at Georgia Southern University (Statesboro, GA), has been awarded the Randy Stevens Scholarship. Claire Belson, a chemical engineering student at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL), has been awarded the Guy E. Bourdeau Scholarship. With these recognitions, Ms. Belson and Dr. Gong will attend and participate in the AMUG Conference, March 19-23, in Chicago.

Steve Deak, AMUG president, stated, “We are very excited to have Dr. Gong and Ms. Belson attend the 2017 conference as scholarship recipients, selected from a strong field of candidates. These individuals are extremely dynamic in their pursuit of additive manufacturing applications and represent the future of our industry. AMUG members will certainly benefit from learning about their vision for AM, while both scholarship recipients will gain industry-specific application perspectives from conference participants.”

The AMUG Scholarship Committee selected Dr. Haijun Gong for his extensive experience, current research, and transfer of that knowledge to the students that he teaches.

“Dr. Gong is well-versed in the area of additive manufacturing and has the skills to apply that experience to research and education at the intersection of unique materials and AM [additive manufacturing] processes,” said Dr. Daniel Cox, professor and founding chair of the department of manufacturing engineering at Georgia Southern University.

Cox added, “Dr. Gong is also a great teacher and has shown excellent mentoring and teaching skills. He has what it takes to succeed in the three areas of faculty scholarship: research, teaching and service.” He continued, “Dr. Gong is well-prepared to lead a successful research program in AM as he knows how to conceive and prepare research proposals, and he has successfully turned his research into numerous publications.”

Gong’s attention focuses on additive manufacturing with metallic materials. He stated, “In my opinion, AM is not only a manufacturing method for complex metal parts, but also a metallurgy technique of exploring new alloys.”

Currently he is conducting research, in partnership with 3DSIM LLC, on the simulation, optimization, and physical phenomena of laser melting processes. Dr. Gong also contributes to standards development through ASTM’s F42 committee. Additionally, he has completed an NSF proposal to acquire a metal additive manufacturing machine to further research and education at the university.

The AMUG Scholarship Committee selected Claire Belson for her passion, professionalism, skills and willingness to share her knowledge. In her application, Belson said, “Attending AMUG 2017 would be an awesome opportunity for me because I would be able to pass on all the knowledge that I would gain to my university, my future employers and to the next generation of additive manufacturing engineers.”

Belson is pursuing a dual degree, both a B.S. and M.S. in chemical engineering, and has participated as an undergraduate researcher, a sub-team leader of the university’s EcoCAR team, and a student employee in the college of engineering’s innovation area known as the Cube.

Dr. Yonghyun (John) Kim, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, stated, “Claire has also worked as an engineering co-op student at Emerson, where she was entrusted to spearhead a $50,000-plus project to develop new additive manufacturing processes in foundries.”

As an Emerson co-op, Belson attended the 2016 AMUG Conference.

“The AMUG Conference helped me to evaluate companies and equipment in order to make wise recommendations to senior management regarding potential purchases and what would be best for their needs,” she said.

Rebecca Rutishauser, manager of manufacturing innovation and technology for Emerson Automation Solutions, said, “This was by far the most complex and comprehensive co-op project from 2016, and Claire completed it with a well thought out final recommendation and still had time to help with several other projects.”

Rutishauser continued, “I could not be more proud of the work Claire completed. Everyone who worked with her or attended her presentations has told me how impressed they were with her, and as a result, Emerson is pleased to have Claire come back for an internship during the summer of 2017. This is the first time the Fisher division has ever had an intern as we normally only run a co-op program, but we had to make an exception to have Claire come back since her work was exemplary.”

The Guy E. Bourdeau Scholarship, founded by Guy's wife, Renee Bourdeau, 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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