As new co-director of Penn State’s Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D), Michael Hickner plans to use his background in polymer science and engineering to open new avenues of research.
Hickner, Corning Faculty Fellow in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, sees polymers and polymer-based composites as a major growth area.
“Just look at the new commercial aircraft from Boeing and Airbus that are made from composites, not to mention military aircraft,” Hickner said. “Even automotive companies are moving towards replacing metal with composites. That is all technology from polymer science. We can fill an important niche at CIMP-3D by doing more research in polymers and composites that are ready for use in engineering applications. This will drive additive manufacturing technology forward as well as bring polymers to new applications in additive manufacturing.”