Like a mad scientist from a 1950s science fiction film, Edward Kinzel spends his days in the lab shooting lasers at glass. Kinzel’s laser isn’t a weapon, though. He uses it to melt the glass in a unique 3-D printing application designed to make high-tech optical glass for use in various lenses. 

Kinzel, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, uses a carbon dioxide laser to produce a beam of infrared light that can melt glass with pin-point accuracy, allowing the glass to flow and be formed into various shapes. The process is known as printing gradient-index optics.

With funding from Lockheed Martin and S&T’s Materials Research Center, Kinzel and his Ph.D. student Junjie Luo are working to produce lenses that can be used in high-powered cameras, like ones found on search-and-rescue planes. The lens’ high power-to-weight ratio will allow for further advances in the field of aerospace optics.

For now, Kinzel’s research is limited to smaller pieces, but he believes it can eventually be used in other additive manufacturing processes as a cheaper alternative to silicon. Not limited to scientific uses, the technique could even be used to inexpensively produce objects of art using glass.

Around the Puck

Generous partners complete ACML fundraising

Thanks to an investment from the University of Missouri System, major gifts from industry partners and alumni support, S&T will break ground on the Advanced Construction and Materials Laboratory (ACML) on Oct. 12, during Homecoming weekend.

[Read More...]

Alumni help with sesquicentennial planning

Seven alumni, including three Miner Alumni Association board members, have been named to Missouri S&T’s sesquicentennial advisory committee. The group is made up of graduates, students, faculty, staff and community members who are involved in planning the university’s upcoming 150th anniversary celebration.

[Read More...]

Using big data to reduce childbirth risks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, complications during pregnancy or childbirth affect more than 50,000 women annually, and about 700 of them die every year. Steve Corns, associate professor of engineering management and systems engineering, is working with researchers from Phelps County Regional Medical Center through the Ozarks Biomedical Initiative to reduce […]

[Read More...]

Bogan solves Benton mural mystery

Missouri State Capitol muralist Thomas Hart Benton wrote in his memoir about being called into then-Gov. Guy Park’s office and told that a prominent St. Louis politician objected to Benton’s portrayal of black people, especially depictions of slavery.

[Read More...]

Breaking bias

According to Jessica Cundiff, assistant professor of psychological science at S&T, women who consider careers in the physical sciences, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields are deterred by stereotypes that impose barriers on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in STEM.

[Read More...]