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

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2018

8,607 Students enrolled for the fall semester at Missouri S&T. Classes started Aug. 20. 91 Percentage of first-year freshmen who receive scholarships and financial aid.

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Making tornado alley safer

Growing up in northeast China, Guirong “Grace” Yan didn’t see many tornados in a country where the number of documented twisters is a fraction of those that hit the United States. But as her academic career took Yan to several postdoctoral fellowships and then faculty positions in Indiana, Missouri and Texas, the assistant professor of […]

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Living laboratory houses lead battery research

This past November, Missouri S&T installed two new advanced lead battery microgrid systems at the EcoVillage, a “living laboratory” that is home to S&T’s solar-powered homes.

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Partners for progress

An expansion of the partnership between Missouri S&T and Missouri State University will allow students to pursue a mechanical engineering degree on the Missouri State campus with courses taught by faculty from both institutions. Students began applying this fall. The program will begin in fall 2019.

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Chancellor search is underway

This past August, University of Missouri President Mun Choi announced the formation of a 23-member committee to lead a nationwide search for a chancellor at Missouri S&T.

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