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Susan Ma

M.S. 2020, Mechanical Engineering
Susan Ma headshot

Susan earned her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Polymer Materials from Wichita State University. At Wichita State University, she gained experience studying polymer and soft materials through an undergraduate research program. She researched the characterization of dielectric relaxation behaviors of multifunctional, polymer nanocomposites using an impedance analyzer as well as transient electronic materials. She published a paper in the Journal of Applied Polymer Science titled “Study of Denaturation and Composition Dependent Poly (ethylene oxide)-Soy Protein Interactions: Structures and Dielectric Polarization.” Susan was sold on the values and potential of Additive Manufacturing and decided to pursue a graduate degree and get more involved in its research. 

Susan joined the DREAMS lab in January 2018 to pursue her master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. Her main research focus is to investigate the manufacturing of powder and metals via Binder Jetting, especially in pharmaceutical printing and nanoparticles of copper works. The goal for her project is finding the best combination of powder and binder to improve the strength of 3-D printed pharmaceuticals. Currently she is designing experiments and testing powder combinations.  

Having witnessed the growth of Additive Manufacturing, she has become an advocate of the technology and an enthusiastic researcher. While working in the DREAMS lab, Susan has an opportunity to work with a broad range of AM systems (FDM, SLA, SLS, etc.).