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Engineering Impact Abroad

October 26, 2016

About Me

Josh Martin is a 4th year PhD Candidate in the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering program at Northeastern University on a National Science Foundation fellowship. He is part of the Directed Assembly of Particles and Suspensions (DAPS) Lab under Prof. Erb, which specializes in soft matter physics (the science behind liquids, suspensions, and colloids). Josh’s work is focused on enabling 3D printing of composite materials with magnetically controlled alignment. The goal is to enable high-performance 3D printed parts using materials science. His work has led to a spin-out, 3DFortify, which is a top 26 finalist in the MassChallenge Accelerator Program. Aside from engineering, Josh is an adamant rock climber, and volunteers as the climbing coach for The Meridian Academy Charter School in Jamaica Plain.

Engineering Impact Abroad

This past September I had the opportunity to travel to Exeter, UK and attended the British Stress-Strain Society’s Experimental Mechanics conference. This conference brings together some of the leading mechanics experts from around the world (people who study the relationship between material structure and forces that cause them to fail). I was fortunate enough to be selected as a finalist in the Young Stress Analyst (YSA) competition, which luckily resulted in complimentary registration and accommodation. The YSA competition is a graduate student symposium; each contestant presents his/her work and is evaluated by a panel of judges. My talk focused on the 3D Magnetic Printing technique we developed at NEU, and some of the new composite structures that can be assembled. One thing lead to another, and I was awarded 1st place!

The best part about this experience was the chance to meet some like-minded scientists and engineers from around the world. It’s events like these where some of the most exciting ideas are born. As a result of this conference, we are forming a collaborative study with a group from Oxford University. It should lead to some really interesting discoveries; we will be using micro CT and digital image correlation techniques to observe crack-paths in composite materials with programmed micro-architectures. There are only a handful of instruments capable of doing this type of study around the world! 

In summary, I’d encourage any students reading this to get involved in conferences, both domestic and abroad. If conferences aren’t well suited for your interests, there are tons of meet-ups and networking events in the area where people just want to share ideas with others. You never know what synergies can be found.