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LLNL, University of California Partner for AI-driven AM Research

University of California (UC), Berkeley, California, announced mechanical engineering faculty Grace Gu was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, California, Early Career UC Faculty Initiative for her proposal, "Toward AI-Driven Additive Manufacturing for Metal-Ceramic Composite Structures."

The initiative is a joint endeavor between LLNL’s Strategic Deterrence Principal Directorate and UC national laboratories at the University of California Office of the President, seeking to foster long-term academic partnerships and provide UC faculty members with funding and Lab support for their research. The winning recipient will receive up to $1 million in funding over five years to support an innovative research project in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Gu’s winning research proposal seeks to develop new composite materials with exceptional properties, particularly in ultra-high-temperature ceramics for energy and defense applications. The project will focus on advancing the capabilities of binder jet 3D printing and optimizing composite feedstock development. This work is strategically aligned with applied data science efforts in materials and advanced manufacturing at LLNL.

With technical support from LLNL research staff, Gu and her team plan to integrate AI algorithms for in-situ monitoring and parameter optimization of 3D printing and create a generative design framework for heterogeneous composite structures. By combining metals and ceramic-based materials, the research focuses on achieving specific mechanical properties that were previously unattainable through traditional manufacturing methods. This ambitious undertaking will employ cutting-edge AI and ML techniques, including neural network surrogate models and deep learning, to achieve its objectives.

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