WE Colloquium: Dr. Judith Schneider, Disruptive Manufacturing Processes
For decades, materials and manufacturing technology have been advancing at an exponential pace. Consequently, today many engineering professionals are grappling with how to incorporate many new manufacturing techniques into their businesses to become or remain competitive in the global environment. While many of these technologies are incremental and evolved from previous technologies, periodically, real game changing, “disruptive technologies” occur for which there is no prior history or infrastructure yet developed to support. These technologies are particularly challenging to embrace both for the current labor force and for academics who are responsible for training the future labor force.
Often these disruptive manufacturing technologies become available before the microstructural understanding has developed and the resulting mechanical properties are well understood. This presentation will provide an overview of the solid state joining technique known as friction stir welding (FSWing). The process was invented in 1991 at The Welding Institute (TWI) and was rapidly implemented into production environments. Although the patents on the process have expired, the lack of a physical understanding of the process parameter interactions continues to limit its usage. Companies have no resources to draw upon when evaluting potential product improvements by implimenation of FSW into their product lines. To address this limitation, we have developed a kinematics-based model to provide the ability to predict the influence of process parameters and to guide tool design. Although the model is simplistic and independent of material properties, it has evolved to explore probable causes of reported “random“ anomolies within long lengths of FSWs.
Dr. Schneider is currently a Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Her primary area of research is the engineering of microstructure by control of the processing parameters to obtain the desired mechanical performance of structural materials, expecially under non-equilibrium conditions. Much of her research centers on characterization of the microstructual evolution during either the processing or service life of the material.
Dr. Schneider received her B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. She spent 16 years in industry performing design and development of hardware for aerospace applications and human organ replacment, focused on compatiblity of the material selection and fabrication methods for operation in harsh environments. To gain a better understanding of material behavior, she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science Engineering from the University of California – Davis in 1993 and 1996, respectively. She worked at the Sandia National Laboratories in the USA on testing and characterization of electronic materials and the Max Planck Institute in Germany on testing and characterization of structural ceramics. She was a faculty member at Mississippi State University for 16 years prior to relocating to UAH in the fall 2015.