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COES graduate student awarded first place for research presentation

Jwala Parajuli, a graduate student in molecular sciences and nanotechnology at Louisiana Tech University, earned first place honors for presentation of her paper titled “Laser-based 3D printing: Metal segregation studies during the solidification process,” at last week’s Consortium for Innovations in Manufacturing and Materials (CIMM) annual symposium in Baton Rouge.

Jwala Parajuli

Parajuli’s winning paper describes a selective laser melting approach that involves a high-powered laser which melts metal powder in specified areas and then allows it to solidify. Carefully controlled repetition of this process can be used to build complex shapes in a layer-by-layer fashion.  Parajuli has developed a computational model to study of how metal components of certain alloys tend to segregate during the solidification stage after laser melting.

“I was thrilled when I found out that I got first place in the poster competition,” said Parajuli.  “I am glad that my work was recognized and I would like to thank Dr. Daniela Mainardi who guided me through my research. Her constant support motivated me to do better.”

Parajuli’s research is directed by Dr. Daniela Mainardi, who holds the Thomas and Nelda Jeffery Endowed Professorship in Chemical Engineering and is also the interim director for chemical and nanosystems engineering at Louisiana Tech.

“Ms. Parajuli is a clear example of those very few graduate students who are not only able to conduct state-of-the-art quality research but also successfully communicate their research work to a general audience,” Mainardi said.  “She possesses the technical abilities, enthusiasm and leadership that are required to excel in the engineering profession.”

CIMM is supported by a competitive grant from the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) of the National Science Foundation. The NSF EPSCoR program in Louisiana is overseen by the Board of Regents and Dr. Michael Khonsari, associate commissioner for Sponsored Program Research and Development, who serves as the project director.

Khonsari said CIMM’s accomplishments were praised by the external review board, which is composed of distinguished scientists and engineers from institutions from around the nation. He said that student authors of three high ranking posters will present their posters at the EPSCoR National Conference to be held in Montana in November.

CIMM’s goal is to achieve innovations in metal and alloy-based advanced manufacturing through collaborations between universities, industries, and national laboratories. One major research thrust of CIMM is multiscale replication and forming of parts with characteristic dimensions ranging from microns to millimeters and beyond. The other thrust area addresses materials synthesis, processing, and characterization for laser-based additive manufacturing.

In addition to Louisiana Tech, Grambling State University, Louisiana State, Southern University at Baton Rouge, and University of New Orleans are academic members of the Consortium. CIMM participants from the member institutions include 38 faculty, six support staff, five post-doctoral fellows, 41 graduate students and 35 undergraduate students.