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Interns in New 3-D Printing Collaborative Laboratory Develop New Technologies and Solve Manufacturing Challenges

Alexandra Damley-Strnad, BSASE ’17, and Andres Ruiz, BSMS BME ’18, interns with the Johnson & Johnson 3-D Printing Collaborative Laboratory at the University of Miami College of Engineering, will work to investigate new technologies for product realization and to provide rapid responses to manufacturing challenges.

In the Collaborative Laboratory, students will participate in cooperative educational and research opportunities, as will faculty researchers in multiple disciplines. Work in the Collaborative Laboratory will help to enhance the agility and reliability of the Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain (JJSC) organization by driving manufacturing innovation and recovery with world-class engineering and insights.

“We offer an opportunity to augment students’ engineering skills with practical experience, while developing innovative solutions for Johnson & Johnson manufacturing and resolving complex manufacturing challenges,” explains Ganesh Rao, a JJSC engineering fellow and one of the leads of the laboratory. “It’s a win-win for both.”

Damley-Strnad and Ruiz will assist the area engineer in executing tasks related to process innovation projects and root-cause analyses of significant manufacturing challenges in the field of polymers and metals in the medical device industry. This will expose the students to current working knowledge on various polymers and metals used in medical devices, and will teach them characterization and processing techniques.

“This opportunity gives me a great start on understanding the behavior and mechanics of certain polymers, adding to my graduate research preparation,” Damley-Strnad says. “By the end of this internship, I expect to have a practical understanding of how these materials will perform and can be used in industrial applications.”

Their internships with the Collaborative Laboratory will allow Damley-Strnad and Ruiz to apply previous research in real-world products with significant human impact. “The goal is to prevent supply disruption of critical medical products in use,” Damley-Strnad says. “In this role, I can combine lessons from my previous work experiences, use them to directly impact the lives of others and see what a Fortune 500 company has to offer.”

To read more about the laboratory and its mission at the College of Engineering, click here.

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