UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A new director has been named to lead Penn State's additive manufacturing and design program, which includes an online version through Penn State World Campus.

The director is Allison Beese, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering.

Additive manufacturing, commonly referred to as 3D printing, is a fast-growing technology that draws inspiration and knowledge from many disciplines.

At Penn State, the program consists of the Master of Engineering in Additive Manufacturing and Design that is offered online through Penn State World Campus and a master's in science available at the University Park campus. The College of Engineering and the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences administer the program, and course offerings have grown through collaborations with the Smeal College of Business and the College of Arts and Architecture.

Beese, taking the reins from Tim Simpson, interim department head of the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs and the Paul Morrow Professor in Engineering Design and Manufacturing and professor of mechanical engineering, has contributed to the success of the AMD program since its inception. In addition to teaching one of the core courses, she served on the admissions committee and played a role in its initial development and rollout.

Beese said she hopes to continue building on its impact of the program, which has 121 enrolled students and 31 alumni.

“The AMD program is on a great trajectory,” Beese said. “Both our online and resident students are highly engaged with the program and are providing insight into the additive manufacturing industry.” 

As director, her goals include incorporating additional networking opportunities for students and alumni, recruiting and retaining more women and other underrepresented groups, and continuing to expand the program’s multidisciplinary course offerings. 

Reflecting on the growing impact of additive manufacturing applications, such as biomedical, military, and industrial, Beese said she believes that furthering the existing technology through research and equipping the future workforce to be on the leading edge of these improvements is critical.

“There are a wide range of industries either already adopting additive manufacturing or poised to do so with some additional improvements,” she said. “The AMD program aims to train engineers in the multidisciplinary areas that are integrated in additive manufacturing to make them aware of the wide range of considerations, including component design, material selection, in-process sensing, and part qualification. This equips them with the tools to innovate and advance the field.”

Learn more about the online version of the program on the Master of Engineering in Additive Manufacturing and Design website.