Prof. Katrin Wudy is an Assistant Professor (Tenure Track W2 to W3) for Laser-Based Additive Manufacturing – School of Engineering and Design at the Technical University of Munich, Germany and is our Women in 3D Printing Guest #279!
Nora Touré: Katrin, Could you let us know briefly about your background and your journey into Additive Manufacturing?
Katrin Wudy: In 2010 during my time as a student, I first came in touch with an Additive Manufacturing (AM) system at my former University. At this time, I was studying plastic and rubber engineering and I immediately knew that I wanted to do my Ph.D. in the field of AM. During my Ph.D. between 2012 and 2017, I immersed myself in the industrial and scientific environment of AM.
After only two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuernberg (FAU), I was appointed to the Technical University of Munich (TUM) in 2019 as an Assistant Professor for Laser-Based Additive Manufacturing. I managed to turn my passion into a profession.
Now I am able to bring young engineers closer to AM while conducting future-oriented scientific research, which is terrific.
Nora Touré: To date, what would you say is your greatest achievement in Additive Manufacturing?
Katrin Wudy: The appointment as Assistant Professor of Laser-Based Additive Manufacturing at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) allows me to shape the research environment and educate students with AM-specific skills.
This will lead to a new generation of engineers, which does no longer think with limitations in manufacturing or design.
Nora Touré: Do you have any (fun or not) stories about your career to share with us?
Katrin Wudy: During my time as a Ph.D. student at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, I was unpacking a powder bed fusion building process late at night.
Powder bed fusion of plastics works with thermoplastic powders, which appear as white powders. Up to now, the unpacking of the partcake is done mainly manually, which looks like you are an archaeologist. A student entered the laboratory and asked me if he can get a little bit of the white powder.
I was not sure what the aim of this question was, but I said: “I am afraid I cannot give you anything of the powder”. He seemed a little disappointed when I told him about the real purpose of the powder.
At that time, 3D printing was not discussed in the media and society was not aware of the AM processes. This definitely changed the last few years.
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