METAL 3D Structures Lab

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Welcome to my page!

I am an assistant professor at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Utah State University and director of the "Mechanical Evaluation and Testing of Additively Layered 3D Structures Lab"- METAL 3D Structures Lab. My main area of research is on evaluating the process-structure-property relationships in metal additive manufacturing, colloquially known as 3D printing, using advanced experimental techniques.

Research Philosophy

We believe that by understanding the process-structure-property relationships in metal additive manufacturing, we will facilitate the transition of defense, aerospace, and energy industries to a faster, more cost-effective means of manufacturing compared to traditional manufacturing techniques.

Tools and Techniques

The METAL 3D Structures Lab employs various types of experimental approaches to evaluate the process-structure-property relationships in metal additive manufacturing. On the process side, we leverage access to the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Lab and in-situ techniques to capture data relevant to the processing of the metallic materials. On the structure side, we utilize microstructural characterization techniques and X-ray CT scanning to observe the underlying material structures (microstructures and defects). On the property side, we evaluate the material properties at different length-scales, temperatures, and strain rates to characterize the material properties in different regimes.

Recent Activity

PI Kouraytem Receives 2 Awards!

Prof. Kouraytem received 2 honors this spring. 

(1) Kouraytem has been recognized as the Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year at the MAE department at USU

(2) Kouraytem has been recognized as a woman leading Utah's advanced manufacturing industry by UAMMI. More information here 

Chris Presents at TMS 2023

Graduate student, Christopher Bettencourt, presented his research work "Combining Additive Manufacturing Processes to Produce Functionally Graded Metallic Materials for Energy Applications" at TMS 2023. Chris described the evaluation of the microstructures and properties of functionally graded steel and nickel alloys. Nice job, Chris! 

PI Kouraytem collaborating on new DOE grant

Prof. Kouraytem is collaborating on a DOE-SETO FY 2023 grant to study the creep and fatigue behavior (and their interactions) of additively manufactured metals for applications in renewable energy, concentrated solar power specifically. The project led by U.C. Davis is in collaboration with a number of PIs across U.S. Universities, National Laboratories, and industry.

USU Awarded EDA Grant

USU was recently awarded an EDA grant (totaling about $500,000) which will fund Advanced Manufacturing, EV, and Renewable Energy.  The grant will cover tuition and fees and industry partners (e.g., UAMMI, Northrop, Thermofisher Scientific, Autoliv, SDL) are matching the cost of internships in different sectors, including advanced manufacturing. Dr. Kouraytem will serve as a touchstone mentor for the advanced manufacturing segment along with Dr. Ryan Berke. Get in touch if you are interested in a position and read more about the grant here.

We are hiring!

The lab is currently hiring qualified M.S. and Ph.D. students. If interested, please email your CV/Resume to Dr. Nadia Kouraytem. Get in touch with us for more information.

Dr. Kouraytem on USU Career Studio Podcast

Dr. Kouraytem was invited to talk in the USU Career Studio podcast and provided students with career advice from her unique background. Listen to this Friday Face-to-face episode on Spotify or Apple.

Great job Chris!

Christopher Bettencourt, MS student, was nominated for the graduate student of the year award. Chris gave a seminar presentation "Metal 3D Printed Bi-material Recuperators for Use in Concentrated Solar Power" on his DOE SETO-funded project. Great job Chris!

PI Kouraytem awarded NEUP grant!

Prof. Kouraytem was recently awarded a $800,000 NEUP FY 2022 grant to study the variability in mechanical response of additively manufactured metals (IN718 and SS316). Read the project abstract here.

Read more about this story on the USU webpage coverage.