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AM Industry Achievement Award Winners


Slade Gardner

Jeff DeGrange, FSME
Chief Commercial Officer
Impossible Objects Inc.

Jeff DeGrange, FSME, is being recognized by SME’s Additive Manufacturing Technical Community as the 2023 AM Industry Achievement Award Winner for his contributions over a distinguished career for creating an additive organization within McDonnell Douglas/Boeing that certified, qualified, and developed additive manufacture additive production supply chain for both defense and commercial aircraft parts and much more.



Slade Gardner

Slade Gardner, PhD
President and Founder
Big Metal Additive

Slade Gardner, PhD, is being recognized by SME’s Additive Manufacturing Technical Community as the 2022 AM Industry Achievement Award Winner for his contributions over a distinguished career for advancing industrial metal additive manufacturing, and for his recent work with large-scale metal-hybrid AM.




David K. Leigh, PhD
Chief Technology Officer for Additive Manufacturing
3D Systems, Inc.

Dr. Leigh is being recognized for his career-long contributions to the AM industry. He has been instrumental in pioneering standards and specifications on qualification of AM; building successful culture and systems at printing service houses; and founding (and eventually spinning off) companies that broadened the market and audience for AM technology.




Dr. Anthony Atala
G. Link Professor, Director
Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine
W. Boyce Professor, Chair of Urology

Anthony Atala, MD, is the G. Link Professor and Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and the W. Boyce Professor and Chair of Urology. Dr. Atala is a practicing surgeon and a researcher in the area of regenerative medicine. Fifteen applications of technologies developed in Dr. Atala's laboratory have been used clinically. He is Editor of 25 books and 3 journals. Dr. Atala has published over 600 journal articles, and has received over 250 national and international patents. Dr. Atala was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, to the National Academy of Inventors as a Charter Fellow, and to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Dr. Atala is a recipient of the US Congress funded Christopher Columbus Foundation Award, bestowed on a living American who is currently working on a discovery that will significantly affect society; the World Technology Award in Health and Medicine, for achieving significant and lasting progress; the Edison Science/Medical Award for innovation, the R&D Innovator of the Year Award, and the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award for Bioprinting Tissue and Organs. Dr. Atala’s work was listed twice as Time Magazine’s Top 10 medical breakthroughs of the year, and once as one of 5 discoveries that will change the future of organ transplants. He was named by Scientific American as one of the world’s most influential people in biotechnology, by U.S. News & World Report as one of 14 Pioneers of Medical Progress in the 21st Century, by Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review as one of the top key influencers in the life sciences intellectual property arena, and by Nature Biotechnology as one of the top 10 translational researchers in the world.

Dr. Atala has led or served several national professional and government committees, including the National Institutes of Health working group on Cells and Developmental Biology, the National Institutes of Health Bioengineering Consortium, and the National Cancer Institute’s Advisory Board. He is a founding member of the Tissue Engineering Society, Regenerative Medicine Foundation, Regenerative Medicine Manufacturing Innovation Consortium, Regenerative Medicine Development Organization, and Regenerative Medicine Manufacturing Society.


Dr. Peter Liacouras
Director of Services
3D Medical Applications Center (3D MAC) Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Dr. Peter Liacouras is the Director of Services for the 3D Medical Applications Center (3D MAC) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. 3D MAC is an additive manufacturing (3D Printing) facility within the Department of Radiology, which focuses on digital support and fabrication of 3D medical models for our Armed Forces and Veterans.

Since 2006, Dr. Liacouras has applied additive manufacturing techniques, such as vat photopolymerization, material jetting, binder jetting, and powder bed fusion, to medical applications and implant designs. He routinely designs and supervises the creation of custom implants, surgical guides, and personalized prosthetic attachments for the Department of Defense. At 3D MAC, he supports 3D image capturing and scanning, as well as actively participating in numerous research projects. As the Director of Services, Dr. Liacouras has successfully expanded the center’s capabilities, increased efficiency, improved quality control, lowered hospital costs, improved training and education of 3D digital applications, and increased accessibility of the center’s resources to all DOD and VA medical facilities.

Dr. Liacouras holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Mathematics from James Madison University and a Master of Science, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy, in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds two appointments as an Assistant Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is a member and active participant in many professional organizations, to include: Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), Radiology Society of North America (RSNA) and their 3D Printing Special Interest Group, and the Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) where he has been recognized with the Distinguished Innovator Operators Award (DINO) in additive manufacturing. He lives in North Potomac, MD with his beautiful wife and three sons.


Dr. Jonathan M. Morris
Consultant, Department of Radiology
Assistant Professor of Radiology
Mayo Clinic

Dr. Jonathan M. Morris is a Consultant in the Department of Radiology and Assistant Professor of Radiology. He received his B.S. at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, completed a post-baccalaureate program at Richard Stockton State College of New Jersey, and completed his M.D. at Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C. He completed his residency at Washington Hospital Center, research fellowship at National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and his radiology and neuroradiology fellowships at Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education.

Dr. Morris is a Board Certified Radiologist and CAQ Neuroradiologist and the Director of the 3D Printing Anatomic Modeling Lab at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. His group has been especially interested in techniques to incorporate 3D printing into a busy clinical/surgical work flow of a large quaternary referral center. His special interests are in anatomic illustration of patient specific complex oncologic surgeries through the use of 3D printing for preoperative planning and custom surgical guides and also the use of 3D printing in medical, education, simulation, imaging research, forensic pathology, and development of quality metrics. Clinically, he focuses on minimally invasive spine procedures including thermal ablation of tumors in the skeletal neuroaxis and head and neck.

He is frequently invited to give presentations both nationally and internationally on 3D printing, including its potential for revolutionizing radiology. He has authored numerous journal articles, abstracts and other written publications, and he is co-founder and editor of 3D Printing in Medicine.




Ely Sachs, PhD
Co-Founder, Desktop Metal

Emanuel “Ely” Sachs, a pioneer of 3D printing, is the inventor of binder jet printing and a co-founder of Desktop Metal, a company committed to accelerating the transformation of manufacturing with end-to-end metal 3D printing solutions. Sachs is also a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT.

Founded in 2015 by leaders in advanced manufacturing, materials science, and robotics, Desktop Metal is addressing the unmet challenges of speed, cost, and quality to make metal 3D printing an essential tool for engineers and manufacturers around the world. As a visionary and inventor of 3D printing and binder jet printing, Sachs has played a key role in the development of Desktop Metal Production System, which builds metal parts in a matter of minutes instead of hours with high precision, single-pass technology.

At MIT beginning in the late 1980s, Sachs became a visionary in rapid prototyping. With colleagues, he developed the concept of 3D printing, ultimately allowing engineers to create functional parts rather than models or patterns for prototyping and testing, as well as for creating finished product components. 3D printing technology has since been applied to a wide variety of systems and application areas including metal end-use parts. His work in this area yielded more than 40 patents and launched a brand new industry.

Sachs became a member of the MIT faculty in 1986 where he serves as Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He has been recognized for pioneering new approaches to teaching undergraduate education, focusing on active, hands-on participation by students in the discovery of knowledge. Sachs’ numerous honors and awards include the Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1995; the Institute of Corrosion’s T.P. Hoar Award in 2001; the IR&D 100 Award in 2004; and the TMS Champion H. Mathewson Award in 2006. In 2018, Sachs was inducted into the TCT Hall of Fame for his significant contributions in progressing the invention and development of 3D printing technologies.  

Sachs earned his SB, MS and PhD, all in mechanical engineering and all from MIT. He has authored more than 110 technical papers and holds more than 40 patents.



Carl Deckard, PhD
Structured Polymers  

Joseph Beaman, ScD, FSME 
University of Texas at Austin

As the co-inventors of selective laser sintering (SLS), Carl Deckard and Joseph Beaman, were recognized for their significant and continued impact on additive manufacturing through the development of processes and technology applied in industry. 
Deckard is an American inventor, teacher and businessman. In 2012, he co-founded Structured Polymers LLC, a company that develops novel polymers for SLS machines.

Beaman joined The University of Texas at Austin faculty in 1979 after receiving his ScD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in mechanical engineering. His career work has been in both manufacturing and control. 



Dieter Schwarze, PhD
SLM Solutions GmbH

In 1989, Dieter Schwarze, PhD, began his research and development work on additive manufacturing and its commercialization. He is also one of the primary inventors of selective laser melting. In 2008, Schwarze joined SLM Solutions GmbH as a scientific coordinator and head of additive processes. In 2013, SLM produced parts with machines that were custom developed from a Franhaofer IIT spinoff where the hull was made of a thin shell with a core part and different laser power and spot size. Franhaufer was using this concept to improve productivity. SLM subsequently bought the license and used it for single crystal tune microstructure. In addition to having several other patents, Schwarze is the sole patent holder of this processing approach and previously studied physics at the University of Paderborn. 



Hans J. Langer, PhD
Hans J. Langer, PhD, founded EOS in 1989, and over the years, developed the company into a market-leading pioneer in additive manufacturing. Today, Langer is the major shareholder, steering the strategic direction of the EOS group as its chief executive officer. He contributes more than 30 years of experience in sales and marketing of laser-based solutions. Langer's company has received several awards, among them three German “Top 100" Innovation awards for medium-sized enterprises and two German “Bavaria's Best 50" awards. In 2008, he was awarded the Bavarian State Medal. In 2011, Langer was ranked by the British additive manufacturing magazine, "TCT," among the 20 most influential personalities in additive manufacturing. Before founding EOS, his career included being managing director Europe at General Scanning Inc. On a scientific level, Langer worked at the Max-Planck-Institute for plasma physics and received his doctorate with a thesis on laser technology from Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich.



Greg M. Morris
GE Aviation 

Greg M. Morris was one of three principals and CEO of Morris Technologies Inc., a Cincinnati-based rapid prototyping, product development and engineering firm as well as a principal of Rapid Quality Manufacturing, an additive manufacturing production-oriented company, up until both were acquired by GE Aviation in late 2012. In Morris’ new role, he serves as strategy and business development lead for additive technologies within GE Aviation, as well as working closely with all of GE’s businesses to promote and integrate additive manufacturing into a broad array of products and processes. Morris has been involved in the additive manufacturing industry since 1994, has written numerous related articles and presented at various trade shows, including SME’s RAPID Conference & Exposition, Aerospace Design Expo, EuroMold, AeroTech, MoldMaking Expo, IMTS, PDx/Amerimold and AIRTEC. He is a community advisor for SME’s Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community, a RAPID event advisor and immediate past chair of both groups. Morris is a current member of the Dayton Defense board and Boston University’s Industrial Advisory Board. SME Member Since 2008



Charles W. Hull 
3D Systems 

Charles W. Hull is the co-founder and chief technology officer of 3D Systems. Hull is the inventor of the solid imaging process known as stereolithography, the first commercial 3D printing technology. With the founding of 3D Systems in 1986, he initiated the 3D printing industry and continues to lead it today with cutting-edge innovations ranging from state-of-the-art production 3D printers that have changed the game of manufacturing to the first home-certified 3D printing, the award-winning Cube. Hull is a named inventor on more than 60 U.S. patents, plus numerous other patents around the world, in the fields of ion optics and 3D printing. In 1994, he received the Jacquard Award from the Numerical Controls Society for his invention and commercialization of stereolithography. Hull received the 1995 Rank Prize, presented by The Rank Foundation in London, and in 1996, he received the William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award presented by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Hull was named Entrepreneur of the Year for 1996 for high technology in the greater Los Angeles area by the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Institute. In 1997, he received the SME Albert M. Sargent Progress Award. In 2011, along with Avi Reichental, Hull was named Entrepreneur of the Year for manufacturing in the Carolinas. Prior to founding 3D Systems, he served six years as vice president of engineering at UVP Inc., a systems manufacturing company. It was at UVP that Hull developed and patented the stereolithography process. Before that, he spent 10 years as an engineering manager at DuPont’s Photo Products Division, concentrating on the development of analytical equipment for chemists, including mass spectrometer and GC/MS systems. Earlier in Hull's career, he was a senior engineer at Bell & Howell. He received a bachelor's degree in engineering physics from the University of Colorado in 1961 and an honorary doctorate in engineering from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom in 2005.



Scott Crump 

S. Scott Crump has served as the chairman of the board of Stratasys since the Stratasys-Objet merger and has been its chief innovation officer since Feb. 2013. Crump previously served as chief executive officer, president, treasurer and a director of Stratasys Inc. from its inception in 1988 until the Stratasys-Objet merger, and as chief financial officer of Stratasys from Feb. 1990 to May 1997. He was, with Lisa H. Crump, his wife, a co-founder of Stratasys Inc., and is the inventor of Stratasys' fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology. From 1982-88, Crump was a co-founder and vice president of sales of IDEA Inc., which later changed its name to SI Technologies Inc., a leading manufacturer of force, load and pressure transducers. He continued to be a director and shareholder of that company until its sale to Vishay Intertechnologies Inc. in April 2005. Crump holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Washington State University. SME Member Since 1994



Brent Stucker, PhD
University of Louisville 

Brent Stucker is a professor of industrial engineering and Clark chair of computer aided engineering at the University of Louisville. Before joining the faculty at the University of Louisville, Stucker held faculty appointments at the University of Rhode Island and Utah State University. He was also a visiting professor at VTT Technical Research Center of Finland. Stucker's research is focused on additive manufacturing technologies and their applications, with a current focus on new materials development for biomedical implants and aerospace/defense structures using ultrasonic consolidation, laser deposition and laser sintering. Co-author of the textbook "Additive Manufacturing Technologies: Rapid Prototyping to Direct Digital Manufacturing," he has authored or co-authored more than 100 technical publications and is a named inventor on six patents. Stucker has received several awards, including the University of Rhode Island Outstanding Research Award in 2000, the Albert E. Carlotti Faculty Excellence Award in 2001, the 2005 “Dinosaur Award” from the Selective Laser Sintering Users Group and the 2010 Robert J. Painter Award from ASTM International. Recently, he one of three U.S. scholars to receive the Fulbright-VTT Grant in Science, Technology and Innovation. Stucker served as editor for North and South America of the Rapid Prototyping Journal from 2004-09. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Idaho, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University. SME Member Since 1995



Wilfried Vancraen
Materialise NV

A pioneer in his industry, Wilfried "Fried" Vancraen has been developing breakthroughs in the medical and industrial applications of additive manufacturing (AM) at Materialise for more than 20 years. From the very beginning, he has concentrated on researching and developing solutions for the transfer of data to AM machines. Today, there is an entire range of market leading software solutions offered by Materialise for use in the industrial and medical applications of AM. Software developed at Materialise has allowed the company, and many others like it, to get more out of the AM process and has pushed for the adoption of AM technologies in a growing range of fields. Vancraen also pioneered several major applications in the AM sector including stereolithographic medical models, colored stereolithographic medical models, perforated support structures, RapidFit Fixtures, surgical guides for oral and orthopedic surgeons, and automated hearing-aid design. Furthermore, as he strongly values the growth of the industry as a whole, he has long offered solutions developed at Materialise to others for the benefit of the entire AM industry. In 2010, Vancraen undertook two initiatives: the launch of the i.materialise website and the creation of the Additive Manufacturing Branding Initiative (AMBI). i.materialise allows consumers to express themselves by turning their ideas into 3-D reality. It also empowers consumers to create designs that enrich their lives and enables them to share their sense of beauty with the people around them by adding unique touches to their environment. Vancraen gave additive manufacturing another boost by uniting the industry leaders through the creation of the Additive Manufacturing Branding Initiative (AMBI), which unites the additive manufacturing industry with the intension of growing the market rather than fighting for market share.



Rethia B. Williams
The Boeing Co.

Rethia B. Williams has 30 years of engineering and managerial experience in material and process development and advanced manufacturing for aerospace and commercial products. She currently holds a senior project engineering position with the Direct Digital Manufacturing Team, Boeing Research & Technology. Williams' engineering career began in a high-speed production environment at Monsanto making nylon fibers for the textile industry. She then moved into the aerospace industry to develop and manufacture high-temperature composites and protective coating systems at Vought and later at Rockwell International, Rocketdyne Division. Williams worked on a variety of Department of Defense and NASA programs, including Peacekeeper, Atlas, Delta, Space Shuttle Main Engines, National Aerospace Plane, Space Station and several Advanced Programs. While at Rocketdyne, she was given a tremendous opportunity in the late 1980s to investigate an emerging technology, now known as rapid prototyping/direct digital manufacturing. A rapid prototyping (RP) lab was established at Rocketdyne in 1992, and Williams was the team leader who brought in the first DTM Sinterstation 2000. For her work in the RP field and for contributions on an important NASA contract, in 1994, Williams was the first female to be awarded Engineer of the Year at Rockwell International. In 1997, she left the aerospace industry to explore small business ownership. Williams shifted back into consumer products for the next four years performing CNC programming for large textile machines. In 2001, she returned to Boeing where she helped bridge the gap between development and manufacturing. Williams helped build the Boeing subsidiary, On Demand Manufacturing, from the ground level to meet F/A-18 production requirements. ODM was acquired by RMB Products Inc. in 2005 and is still producing high-quality F/A-18 parts for Boeing. She holds a BS in ceramic engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla and an MS in materials science from Ohio State University.



Andrew M. Christensen
Medical Modeling Inc.

Andrew M. Christensen has been involved in the field of additive manufacturing for more than 13 years. During that time, his main focus has been on medical applications of these technologies. With a BS in marketing from the University of Colorado at Denver and a team of skilled engineers and artists, his company, Medical Modeling, has spent years finding value and promoting to surgeons the use of "tactile medical imaging. Surgeons the world over have since come to rely on these RP-generated models every day for the most complex reconstruction cases in specialties ranging from neurosurgery to orthopedic surgery to dental implantology. Some of Christensen's accomplishments include writing numerous clinical and scientific articles as well as three book chapters, helping surgical teams worldwide with 25 different sets of conjoined twins, receiving first place in the 2004 3D Systems' Excellence Awards, being honored as first place in the 2006 National Science Foundation "Visualization Challenge" and providing rapid manufactured EBM titanium mesh implants for cranial reconstruction of some 30+ injured soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center working in conjunction with Dr. Steve Rouse. Christensen has been an active SME member since 1998 and is a current RTAM/SME Community advisor. He is also a board member of the nonprofit World Craniofacial Foundation and holds a single U.S. Patent with several more pending. SME Member Since 1998



Prof. Dr. Gideon Levy
Inspire AG Institute for Rapid Product Development

Prof. Dr. Gideon Levy is research director of Inspire AG Institute for Rapid Product Development. While head of iRPD, when it was affiliated with FHS St. Gallen-University for Applied Sciences (St. Gallen, Switzerland), Levy led a team in the development of new, groundbreaking selective laser sintering materials. In doing so, he addressed key barriers, which resulted in the greater utilization of the technology. Users within the industry are constantly demanding more and more quality materials. Levy's team answered that call by making advances that delivered a combination of processing characteristics and quality. A member of SME and a fellow member at CIRP (The International Academy for Production Engineering), Levy has a Master's of Science in control engineering and a Doctor of Science degree in manufacturing technology. He holds 20 patents and has published 150 scientific and technical articles, and was named one of Time-Compression Technologies' (United Kingdom's) 25 Most Influential People in Rapid Manufacturing.