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

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

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Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

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Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

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MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

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A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

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