Amy Elliott: “Question The Norm!”

By on September 30th, 2020 in interview

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Amy Elliott: “Question the norm!”
Amy Elliott [Source: Women in 3D Printing]

Dr. Amy Elliott is a full research staff at Oak Ridge National Lab where she serves as principle investigator for binder jet additive manufacturing (AM).

She and her team research technologies for a variety of industrial applications, including but not limited to new binders, densification methods for powder preforms made with AM, and new material systems which are compatible with indirect AM technologies. Dr. Elliott has received two R&D 100 awards, published over 50 journal articles, co-authored a book, and has several patents in the AM space.

In 2012, Dr. Elliott was cast on Discovery Channel’s The Big Brain Theory, a reality show competition for engineers, where she placed 2nd out of 10 contestants. In her free time, Amy tinkers with hobby 3D printers and films as a science-personality for the Science Channel’s Outrageous Acts of Science, explaining the engineering and science behind viral video clips.

Dr. Elliott and her husband are also members of Eva Haakanson’s electric racing team and have traveled to the salt flats in Utah and Australia pit crew for Eva’s land-speed racing attempts.

Nora Touré: What advice would you share with someone looking into a career in additive manufacturing in 2020?

Amy Elliott: The biggest advice I have for someone getting into AM is question, question, question! Although the technology seems mature, the field is very new, and there are a lot of assumptions out there that are driving big decisions.

So, question the norm! We are at a very sweet time in the technology development where small questions can make big changes.

Nora Touré: When hiring, what are you looking for in a candidate?

Amy Elliott: Additive Manufacturing is just that – manufacturing! You need to understand how things are made, and hopefully have some hands-on experience yourself. That’s what we look for in candidates – professionals who aren’t afraid to get dirty, who like troubleshooting machines and processes, but can also take a step back and look at the fundamental science that’s going on.

Nora Touré: What is the best advice you were given in your career?

Amy Elliott: The guys aren’t holding their gender on their shoulders, so neither should you.

Nora Touré: In your experience, what are some actionable ways we can promote gender equality?

Amy Elliott: I think the best way to promote gender equality starts with equal pay. Not being compensated fairly sends a huge, un-erasable message to the employee that they aren’t valued.

A good way to ensure equal pay is to keep men and women who are hired at about the same time receive similar bonuses, raises and awards each year.

Read the rest at Women in 3D Printing

By Nora Toure

California-based Nora Toure is the woman behind “Women in 3D Printing”, a group dedicated to promoting and showcasing the use of 3D printing for women. She’s also the Director of Sales & Service Factory Operations at Fast Radius, and a TEDx speaker.

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