Graduate Student Openings

Research Associate, Applied Research Laboratory

Division/Department: Applied Research Laboratory

Beginning Semester: Spring 2018 or Summer 2018

Grade/Stipend: TBD

Program Description

Powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (PBFAM) allows the buildup of complex, three-dimensional components that cannot be manufactured through any other means. The core technology relies on repeated layering of 20-60 um thick layers of powder followed by high-speed welding with a laser beam. During part buildup, random and systematic defects (e.g. porosity, lack-of-fusion) can occur and result in low-quality components.  Thus, quality assurance remains a significant and expensive hurdle to wider adoption. The objective of this program is to develop and evaluate sensing systems for in-process quality monitoring of PBFAM of metal components.  This program is part of an effort with a major aerospace OEM and PBFAM systems manufacturer to develop quality control systems based on Integrated Computational Materials Engineering for PBFAM.
U.S. citizenship is required.

Mandatory Position Description Requirements

The student will work within the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D), a world-class resource for advancing and deploying additive manufacturing (AM) technology for critical applications. Tasks will include the integration of advanced optical and thermal sensing systems into PBFAM systems, developing code for analysis of large data sets, and generation of reports and publication. A strong foundation in physics and the fundamentals of heat-transfer, optics, and electronics is essential along with familiarity with high-level programming languages (e.g. MATLAB). Experience with laser-materials processing is preferred.
Students must have a B.S. in engineering science, engineering mechanics, mechanical engineering, or aerospace engineering, and will performs tasks that, on the average, occupy approximately twenty hours per week.

Job Requirements

Candidates must be accepted into the Penn State Graduate School. U.S. citizenship is required. Applicant selected will be subject to a government security investigation. Employment with the Applied Research Laboratory will require successful completion of a pre-employment drug screen

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Abdalla Nassar at



The Penn State Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics (ESM) is an internationally distinguished department that is recognized for its globally competitive excellence in engineering and scientific accomplishments, research, and educational leadership.

Our Engineering Science program is the official undergraduate honors program of the College of Engineering, attracting the University’s brightest engineering students. We also offer graduate degrees in ESM, engineering mechanics, engineering at the nano-scale, and an integrated undergraduate/graduate program.

Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics

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The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-4523