Recent mechanical engineering PhD grad is rising star in additive manufacturing

Published: Jan 9, 2023 12:00 AM

By Jeremy Henderson

In the five years since it was established through a public-private partnership with NASA, the National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME) has brought in tens of millions in grants from government organizations and private companies. 

But in terms of the center's growing acclaim, for the moment, all director Nima Shamsaei wants to talk about is the success of his students. 

“As academics, often we are evaluated by the number of our papers or the total amount of our grants; however, our ultimate products are the graduates of our programs,” said Shamsaei, Philpott-WestPoint Stevens Distinguished Professor of mechanical engineering. “These graduates will contribute to the field for years to come. It is a great satisfaction to see our students successfully graduate, join industry and become leaders in the field."

Which is exactly what Pooriya Nezhadfar is becoming. And quickly. 

Nezhadfar received multiple awards — the Dube Tribology Scholarship Award, Best Student Presentation at the 2020 ASTM International Conference on Additive Manufacturing and Auburn University's Outstanding Doctoral Student Award, just to name a few — en route to earning his doctorate in mechanical engineering under Shamsaei in May, but kudos for his success as a student are still rolling in.  

In November, it was the inaugural Early Career Award from the Fatigue and Fracture of Engineering Materials and Structures journal for his work on enhancing ductility and fatigue strength of AM metallic materials by preheating build platforms. His most recent is SAE International's Henry O. Fuchs Student Award, which for the past 20 years has recognized extraordinary student accomplishment in fatigue research and applications. 

"It's very exciting and also very humbling to have your work recognized and valued as something that could be truly interesting and applicable to your field," Nezhadfar said. "I'm delighted to see the hard work I put in at Auburn, and at NCAME under Dr. Shamsaei’s direction, pay off and open doors."  

One of those doors is a big one. 

In May, G.E. Aerospace, located in Auburn just down the road from Auburn University, hired Nezhadfar as its lead additive manufacturing specialist to help, as Nezhadfar put it, "turn dust to thrust.” 

"There is, of course, a lot of research with advanced manufacturing, but G.E. Aerospace is a pioneer in fabricating parts with additive manufacturing that are actually being used in jet engines. That's the ultimate goal, and I'm looking forward to helping them achieve it."

The National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME) was founded in 2017 through a collaboration between Auburn University (AU) and NASA, and leveraged by a signed AU/NASA Space Act Agreement. The Center is also a founding partner of the ASTM International Additive Manufacturing Center of Excellence (AM CoE). NCAME strives to be a transitioning mechanism from fundamental to applied research aligned with the need of industry. The Center also aims to lead and foster effective collaborations amongst industry, government, academia, non-profit organizations and ASTM committees for ensuring a coordinated, global effort toward rapidly closing standards and workforce development gaps in advanced manufacturing.

Media Contact: Jeremy Henderson,, 334-844-3591
Pooriya Nezhadfar

Pooriya Nezhadfar

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