Prof one of ‘most influential’ in smart manufacturing

Thursday, June 3, 2021

A professor at Waterloo Engineering has been recognized by a leading industry association as one of the 20 most influential academics in smart manufacturing.

Mihaela Vlasea, associate research director of the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (MSAM) Lab, is one of just three women and two academics from Canada who made the list, which was announced today by the SME.

Smart Manufacturing magazine, a publication of the SME, a professional association dedicated to advancing manufacturing, compiled the list with help from industry peers and manufacturing experts.

Mihaela Vlasea is the associate research director of MSAM.

Vlasea, a professor of mechanical and mechatronics engineering, specializes in metal additive manufacturing (AM) - also known as 3D printing - training students, working with industry partners and leading research in areas including ways to reduce costs.

“In the field of metal additive manufacturing, industry often finds it challenging to explore technology adoption on their own,” she said in a magazine story on the list. “This is in part due to the high costs required to set up and run equipment, as well as the need to have the right trained personnel to successfully execute R&D.”

The list features academics from the United States, Canada, China and Hong Kong “who are educating and shaping the next generation of engineers and smart manufacturing technologists across a diverse range of disciplines.”

“One of the best ways to develop the up-and-coming generation of manufacturing professionals is by exposing them to – as one of our honorees puts it – the pioneers and dreamers who are improving existing technologies and creating new ones,” Robert Willig, executive director and CEO of the SME, said in a media release.

“Almost all of the 20 achievement-focused honorees number among their top accomplishments educating and shaping the next wave of pioneers and dreamers.”