Malika Khodja is the business development engineer at Metal Heart, the 1st and so far only commercial metal 3D printing company in South Africa.
In parallel to her work at Metal Heart, she is finishing her PhD in Mechanics of Materials. She was awarded a grant from the Algerian government (MINISTRY OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH) as part of the Exceptional National Programme (RESIDENTIAL FOREIGN TRAINING PROGRAM 2015-2016 (National Exceptional Program-PNE).
During her stay in South Africa thus far, Malika has co-authored 5 peer-reviewed conference papers and 1 peer-reviewed journal paper. In addition to her work at MSM at CSIR, she has received funding from the African Laser Centre (ALC) to do a simulation of Laser Shock Peening in collaboration with CSIR National Laser Centre, University of Witwatersrand and University of Djillali Liabes University in Algeria for 2017 to 2019.
Her future research interests include material sciences, metal additive manufacturing, alloy development and laser materials processing. Malika is proficient with Finite Element Analysis simulation using ABAQUS software, which is of importance to validate experimental results and to assist with experimental design. This has been identified as a relative weakness in South African research capabilities and justified the awarding of ALC projects on numerical simulation in collaboration with Algerian experts. Malika wishes to contribute to the numerical simulation skills transfer to South African researchers.
Nora Toure: Malika, could you let us know about your background and what brought you to 3D printing in the first place?
Malika Khodja: I obtained my undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Djillali Liabes, Faculty of Technology of Sidi Bel Abbes in Algeria.
My PhD project involved numerical simulation and modeling of aircraft crack repair with composite patches, which was done in Algeria. In order to validate the numerical simulations experimentally, I went to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa in 2015. I was introduced to 3D metal printing at the National Laser Centre (NLC) at the CSIR.
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