Brett Conner
Director of Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Initiatives
Director of Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Initiatives Dr. Brett Conner is the Director of Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Initiatives and Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Youngstown State University. Dr. Conner is also an Entrepreneur in Residence for Additive Manufacturing at the Youngstown Business Incubator. Dr. Conner has research interests in additive manufacturing and 3-D printing of the following: multi-material systems, functional graded materials, shock and energy absorption applications, and complex structures. He is also researching entrepreneurial approaches for additive manufacturing. Dr. Conner had fifteen years of experience in government and industry prior to joining the faculty at YSU. Dr. Conner served in the U. S. Air Force where he conducted research into materials, led efforts developing space systems, developed technology policy, and managed programs. His assignments included Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Pentagon. After the Air Force, Dr. Conner was a contractor supporting the Mine Resistant Ambush Protection (MRAP) Joint Program Office. There, he led teams of engineers to upgrade survivability and automotive performance of these armored vehicles used to protect soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Afterwards, Dr. Conner spent five years at the Alcoa Technical Center where he started in the Alcoa Defense organization and then moved into the Alloy Technology Division. Dr. Conner is an inventor on two patents and several pending patent applications. Dr. Conner received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in physics. He has a masters degrees and doctorate from MIT in materials science and engineering. Outside of the classroom and lab, Dr. Conner enjoys having fun with his children, playing and coaching soccer, being around any vehicle that flies, and reading.
Darrell Wallace
Associate Professor
Darrell Wallace, Ph.D., has worked in manufacturing for more than 25 years, working across a wide range of manufacturing sectors. While working as a staff engineer for the Engineering Research Center for Net Shape Manufacturing at Ohio State, Darrell earned his MS in Mechanical Engineering and gained his first exposure to 3D printing. He went on to complete his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering at OSU prior to joining the faculty at Youngstown State University. There, he serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering where he is leading a new Manufacturing Engineering degree program. In 2012, Dr. Wallace helped lead the first of the nation’s National Manufacturing Institutes, subsequently becoming a founding Deputy Director for America Makes (formerly NAMII), the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. Returning to his faculty duties at YSU in 2015, Dr. Wallace remains very active in the Additive Manufacturing community. He has served in related editorial roles including that of guest editor of the special of the Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering on Additive manufacturing. He currently serves as a charter member of the recently formed ASME Y14.46 subcommittee on Additive Manufacturing and actively provides technical consulting to support manufacturers and policymakers on strategic adoption of additive manufacturing.
Pedro Cortes
Assistant Professor: YSU
Pedro Cortes is Assistant Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Program and in the Civil/Envtl. & Chemical Engineering Department. His main research areas of interest are smart-functional structures, composite materials and sensors. Currently, Dr. Cortes investigates the structureproperty relationship of lightweight foam structures and multifunctional composites constructed via additive manufacturing
Eric MacDonald
Eric MacDonald, Ph.D. is a professor of electrical and computer engineering – with a joint appointment in manufacturing program and is the Friedman Chair for Manufacturing at Youngstown State University. Dr. MacDonald received his B.S. (1992), M.S. (1997) and Ph.D. (2002) degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He worked in industry for 12 years at IBM and Motorola and subsequently co-founded a start-up - Pleiades Technologies, Inc. which was acquired by Magma Inc. (San Jose, CA). Dr. MacDonald spent 2003 to 2016 at the University of Texas at El Paso as the associate director of the W. M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation and held faculty fellowships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, SPAWAR Navy Research (San Diego) and a State Department Fulbright Fellowship in South America. His research interests include 3D printed multi-functional applications and closed-loop control in additive manufacturing with instrumentation and computer vision for improved quality and yield. Recent projects include 3D printing of structures such as nano satellites with electronics in the structure (one of which was launched into Low Earth Orbit in 2013 and a replica of which is on display at the London Museum of Science). He has over 50 refereed publications, several patents (one of which was licensed by Sony from IBM). He is a member of ASEE, senior member of IEEE and a registered Professional Engineer in Texas.
Jason Walker
Additive Manufacturing Research Scientist
Dr. Jason Walker is a Research Scientist in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Youngstown State University. His research interests in additive manufacturing include process development and monitoring, smart materials, and complex structures. Dr. Walker received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Toledo. He earned Bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.
Virgil Solomon
Associate Professor
Associate Professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department, with a joint appointment in the Materials Science and Engineering Graduate Program. Dr. Solomon received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (1990) from Gh. Asachi Polytechnic Institute, Iasi, Romania, and his Ph.D in Materials Science and Engineering (2002) from Kumamoto University, Japan. From 2002 to 2007 he was post-doctoral fellow at Center for Solid State Science at Arizona State University, where he specialized in materials investigation using electron microscopy. Before joining YSU Dr. Solomon was instrumentation scientist at the Institute of Materials Science, University of Connecticut. His research interests include materials and process design, and characterization using experimental and numerical methods. He is interested in the study of processing, structure, and performance of shape memory alloys, nanomaterials, and ceramic-metals composites. Recent projects include metal powders processing and characterizations for additive manufacturing applications, optimization of ZnO nanostructures vapor deposition synthesis using CFD modeling, prediction of mechanical and functional behavior of 3D printed components using FEA, failure analysis of ultrasonic and electric resistance welded components. Dr. Solomon has over 30 peer-reviewed publications and he is member of MSA, ASM International, and MSNO.
Jay Wargacki
Additive Manufacturing Lab Manager
Jay Wargacki is the manager of the Additive Manufacturing Lab in 1470 Moser Hall that focuses on the research of additive technologies and provides technical support to Launch Lab in Williamson Hall that is utilized as a campus makerspace. Mr. Wargacki’s professional experience lies heavily within various manufacturing methods including plastic injection molding, metal stamping, rubber compression and plastic extrusion tooling. He started his career as a Tool and Die apprentice and later worked his way up as a Tool Engineer at Delphi before coming to YSU. He also held positions as a CNC programmer, technical trainer and business development manager for additive parts for a product development firm. With an interest in prototyping, additive manufacturing processes have always held his interests and he considers them a unique set of tools within the much larger toolbox of manufacturing. Jay received his Bachelor of General Studies with a double minor in Psychology and Studio Art along with his Associate of Technical Studies in Industrial Trades Technology from Kent State University. Having served a four year apprenticeship through the state of Ohio and Delphi, he is also a certified Tool and Die Maker.
Jonathan Kelly
Project Leader
Jonathan Kelly works at Youngstown State University in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department as a Project Leader for the MAMLS research project. He received his undergraduate degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from YSU and is currently enrolled in their MBA program. He has spent the last 5 years in industry working for Honeywell and in the manufacturing services field at an electroplating company. At Honeywell, his focus was process improvement and optimization as a function of quality. This was accomplished using six sigma tools, software development and task automation through system development. He has created various systems still in use at different facilities throughout Honeywell’s GSP division. At the electroplating company he was brought in to build the infrastructure for the Quality and Safety departments. With virtually no quality or safety systems in place, Jonathan was promoted to the Quality and Safety Manager and oversaw the strategy, design, creation, implementation and control of numerous systems and processes throughout the company. Jonathan is very also involved in the community as an active member of the local church and is a volunteer through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. In his spare time Jonathan is a licensed real estate agent and real estate investor and is always interested in learning new things, developing his skills and reading.