School of engineering and applied science

The challenge of 3-D printing with metal

A team of researchers led by Jan Schroers, professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, has shown that using metals with 3-D printing may be much more practical than previously thought. To do so, the researchers used metallic glass, a relatively new material stronger than even the best metals, but with the pliability of plastic. The results were published in Materials Today. The process of 3-D printing with metal is still challenging and limited, but metallic glasses can undergo continuous softening upon heating. The breakthrough could greatly reduce the costs and resources involved by taking advantage of this softening behavior. 

Robots teach social skills

A study led by Brian Scassellati, professor of computer science, found significant improvements in the social skills of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) after a month of working with robots. Modeling eye contact and other social behaviors, the robots guided the children of 12 participating families through storytelling and interactive games designed to promote social skills such as emotional understanding, taking turns, and seeing things from others’ perspectives. A robot was placed in the home of each participating family and the children worked with the robots for 30 minutes every day for 30 days. The results were published in Science Robotics

Interim dean honored

Cited for his pioneering research, Mitchell Smooke, interim dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has been named a 2018 fellow of the Combustion Institute. Smooke, the Strathcona Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science and Applied Physics, was among a group of researchers from around the world named as new members to the institute. Those chosen are recognized by their peers in the field for outstanding contributions to combustion, whether in research or in applications. The institute, an international, nonprofit, educational, and scientific society, noted Smooke’sresearch on developing numerical and computational procedures to solve problems relating to chemically reacting flows, especially flame structure.

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