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New Lab Focuses on Future of Manufacturing

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2018 - 10:37 AM Engineering , All News

Having joined the Western New England University faculty last fall, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Jingzhou (Frank) Zhao is already leading cutting edge research targeting fundamental challenges in manufacturing. From miniature sensors that make safer batteries for electric vehicles to advanced fabrics for water treatment and clean energy, Dr. Zhao and the newly established Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Processing Lab (AMMP) based in the College of Engineering are making an impact.

Among a wide range of open projects, Dr. Zhao is currently developing advanced measurement systems for 3D imaging of fluids, next generation flexible touchscreens, structured materials for energy harvesting, energy saving electric cables for radio frequency power delivery, membranes for high efficiency water desalination, embedded sensors for Internet of Things, composite materials for wear-resistant coatings, and novel 3D printing machines, all of which require breakthroughs in the manufacturing technology to transcend from a mere concept to household products.

“The AMMP Lab strives to become the birthplace of these game changing ideas and conduct basic and applied research to make them a reality,” says Dr. Zhao. “One of the great advantages of our lab is the opportunity it presents for interdisciplinary collaboration.”

Such projects include manufacturing of shape memory alloy nanowires, manufacturing of metamaterials, measurement equipment for high efficiency fuel cells, smart sensors for construction materials, and multi-electrode probes for cell physiology, neuroscience and optogenetic research.

“With the new equipment designed and built by our team, the AMMP Lab is prepared to support college-wide faculty and student research.”