ADMET, a leading global manufacturer of innovative material testing systems, is pleased to announce that the University of Massachusetts at Lowell is the winner of the company’s eX5M Manual Tester Giveaway Contest for educational institutions. UMass Lowell edged out more than a dozen other schools and will be awarded a brand new eX5M Manual Tester to use in their Plastics Engineering lab.
Dr. Meg Sobkowicz-Kline, professor of Plastics Engineering, is excited to have the ADMET machine in the lab. Having the only accredited undergraduate Plastics Engineering program in the United States, her students will use the eX5M to learn the basics of materials testing as well as issues related directly to plastics engineering. “This will help students connect the theory to practice when it comes to tensile or bend testing,” said Dr. Sobkowicz-Kline.
Dr. Sobkowicz-Kline joined the Plastics Engineering department at UMass Lowell in 2011. Previously, she earned National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at NIST Maryland to research polymeric materials for photovoltaic applications. Today, she teaches undergraduate and graduate level classes such as biomaterials and heat transfer while advising others as they pursue degrees and continuing to pioneer research in the field.
In addition to being a teaching tool, the eX5M will help Dr. Sobkowicz-Kline continue her research in material for filaments. She says “We will also put the unit to use for mechanical properties testing of the cutting edge research materials we are developing, like medical devices and 3D printing filament.” As new materials are developed, they must be tested for their physical properties. The eX5M, equipped with wire grips included as part of the prize, is well suited for this testing and will help Dr. Sobkowicz-Kline and her students measure stress, strain, elongation, and other characteristics of these plastics.
Undergraduate students will have a chance to build practical experience working with the eX5M during a semester long class and graduate students will have access to the machine through the school’s Plastics Engineering Lab. All classrooms feature projectors which will be used to display real-time output from ADMET’s GaugeSafe Live software. As students progress through their engineering education, they will have the opportunity to mold their own plastic parts. The eX5M will allow them to measure and report on the mechanical properties of these parts and discuss the impacts of part design, processing parameters, and material choice.
Dr. Sobkowicz-Kline is happy to share the eX5M with other engineering programs within UMass Lowell. “This machine will help not only the plastics department but also the civil and mechanical engineering departments as well,” she said.