AMMI Research Symposium

AMMI Research Symposium

Students’ Materials Research Shines at the Inaugural AMMI End-of-Summer Symposium

For three years, the Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Institute (AMMI) at Rowan University has propelled research forward in the spheres of advanced composites, optics and photonics, batteries and sustainability. The inaugural End-of-Summer Research Symposium held in August gave students, faculty and research scientists a rare opportunity to share their breakthroughs with industry collaborators and major funding sources.

Research thrives at AMMI year-round, Dr. Joe Stanzione, professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and founding director of AMMI, explained. Undergraduate engineering students contribute during their fall and spring clinic courses as well as during winter and summer internships. Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research scientists engage in research continuously. This past summer brought about an increase in undergraduate student involvement that has facilitated a lot of progress on AMMI’s funded projects.

On Wednesday, Aug. 31, AMMI held its Research Symposium at the South Jersey Technology Park on Rowan’s West Campus. Two sessions of podium presentations gave attendees glimpses into the progress made on 17 different research efforts. The poster session of the day allowed students to showcase their materials and technologies and answer questions about their work. Among the research efforts highlighted during the symposium were projects to convert agricultural waste into usable composites, transform bark from birch trees into usable plastics in just five steps, and polymer cold spray additive manufacturing in the development of coatings, repairs, and structures for high performance military applications.

“The research featured in the symposium represented the progress our students, faculty and research scientists have made on all four of our strategic technical initiatives: advanced composites, optics and photonics, rechargeable batters and sustainability,” said Stanzione.

Although the presenters included a mix of undergraduate students, graduate students, research scientists and faculty from the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering and the College of Science and Mathematics, the event was student-centric, Stanzione said.

“We wanted to present our research progress to collaborators and industry partners so students could have opportunities to be in the spotlight,” he added. Between the exposure students gained by sharing their work and the networking opportunities provided by the event, the symposium allowed students to get the attention of industry collaborators who may be looking for their next intern or employee.

Highlighting the excellent work of the students was the driving force for holding this symposium, but it’s far from the only benefit. Through the event, contributors and attendees had the opportunity to network and strengthen connections, learn what everyone at AMMI is working on and explore new project ideas. Inviting collaborators outside the university allowed AMMI to cultivate deeper relationships with industry partners and let collaborators see for themselves how the institute has grown.

“AMMI is creating a growing and distinguished community of researchers working on new materials, processing methods and characterization techniques,” commented Dr. Giuseppe Palmese, Dean of the Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering and Associate Director of AMMI. “This year we wanted to celebrate our work by sharing it with a broader group that included industry and government agencies.  It was a great success and will become an AMMI tradition.  The student presentations were the highlight of the event.  The growing research productivity of AMMI students and faculty are a key component for our College achieving new regional and national recognition in the years to come.”

Close to 70 people attended the event, which was so successful that Stanzione intends for AMMI to hold this event every year.

  • “The symposium provided a comprehensive way to assess the research efforts, capabilities, and facilities of Rowan’s AMMI.  It also helped reacquaint research groups that fell out of touch over the past two years and forge new connections between AMMI, companies, and government labs with overlapping research interests.” - Elyse Baroncini of US Army DEVCOM C5ISR Center and received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering here at Rowan University in 2019 under the tutelage of Prof. Stanzione.
  • “The symposium hosted by AMMI was an excellent opportunity to network with the next-generation of engineering talent and provided a platform to give the students a real-life perspective on how their work is impactful to the broader scientific community.” - Alexander Bassett of US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory and received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering here at Rowan University in 2020 under the tutelage of Prof. Stanzione.

  • “A very beneficial experience presenting to a large, professional audience, learning about colleagues’ research, and networking with people from industry; a great way to cap off a summer of hard work.” - William Beck, undergraduate chemical engineering senior.

  • “The symposium was a great networking event and professional development experience, particularly for me as an undergraduate student. It was an opportunity to share progress on the research I’ve been working on and see how AMMI’s wide range of projects are related.” - Casey Cox, undergraduate chemical engineering senior.

  • “PPG is a key sponsor for several of the AMMI research team activities. The symposium represented a wonderful platform to witness significant program progress first-hand.  This activity was a meaningful collaboration of industry and Rowan University.  It truly spawned future ideas for continued research and support.” - James Downing of PPG.

  • “This event was a great showcase for the ongoing research at AMMI. As a graduate student, I appreciated the opportunity to show my support for undergraduate students, AMMI researchers, and fellow graduate students across the Institute. I enjoyed speaking with AMMI collaborators about my own work and meeting a diverse set of government and industry partners.” - Alexandra M. Lehman-Chong, Graduate Research Associate, Department of Chemical Engineering.

  • “An amazing event of presentations of cutting-edge technology and chemistry by the brightest student at Rowan University.” - Rich Mendelsohn of Waters Corporation.