Dr. Ekong graduates and heads to Ohio

Joseph 1This past Saturday, December 16th 2017, Auburn University conducted its fall 2017 commencement exercises. I had the pleasure of participating in the hooding ceremony of Dr. Joseph Ekong (co-advised with Dr. Blersch from Biosystems Engineering) as he proudly walked across the stage. Dr. Ekong will return to his academic duties (he joined the faculty at Ohio Northern University as a tenure-track assistant professor). Best of luck!

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Habemus doctorem!

Joseph dinner

L to R: Gabriel Proano, Dr. David Blersch, yours truly, Dr. Kamran Kardel, Ali Khoshkhoo, and Joseph Ekong.

Last Friday November 11th, Joseph Ekong became the latest graduate from our research lab by successfully defending his dissertation before a committee composed of faculty members from Industrial Engineering, Biosystems engineering and Mathematics. Of course we went out to celebrate with gourmet Mexican food and cervezas but were quickly outnumbered by large crowds of Georgia bulldog fans that were in town for the game (Auburn won 40-17). This highlights the obvious question: who defends his dissertation the night before the most important football game of the year?. Soon-to-be Dr. Ekong now joins the academic ranks as an assistant professor at Ohio Northern University. Godspeed!


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Georgia Southern University

georgia-southern1I have now officially moved to my new position at Georgia Southern University. I will continue to maintain a close collaboration and a research facility (the 3D-Printed Biosurfaces Lab) at Auburn University for the next two years or so while the rest of the pack of doctoral students graduate. My close collaborator, Dr. David Blersch from Biosystems Engineering, is in charge of the facility and equipment. While my Auburn email address will continue to function for a while, this new address will be monitored much more frequently:   acarrano [at] georgiasouthern [dot] com. Cheers!

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2016-2017 End-of-the-year Cookout

Group Picture Spring 2017

From L to R: Krutarth, Arvind, Dr. Blersch, Ali, Ming Hong, Jarrod, Enkai, Gabriel, Joseph (and son), and yours truly. Special appearance by Monica (the black lab)

With mixed feelings, we celebrated the last cookout during my time here at Auburn University. The entire group of research assistants from the 3D Printed BioSurfaces Lab and Teaching Assistants from my Manufacturing Systems class were able to come. It was a very pleasant lakeside evening with perfect weather in Chewacla State Park. Typical American fare of burgers and hot dogs were garnished with spectacular Indian Samosas and Iranian Tahdig dishes, among others. Thanks to all for your hard effort this term!.


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Surface Metrology: a primer with Biosystems applications


SEM of southern red oak (Quercus falcata sp.)

This coming Thursday, March 30th, I will be delivering a seminar in the department of Biosystems Engineering at Auburn University. I plan to cover some fundamentals of surface metrology, some of the more recent approaches and a few applications, including the topographical scanning of fossilized dinosaur teeth, leaves, wood surfaces as well as algal system substrata. Please join us form 12-1 pm in Corley Building #302.

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Research group Holiday gathering

pic3We celebrated the end of another productive semester with a potluck-style gathering with all the doctoral students, teaching assistants and their families. A wonderful assortment of Iranian, Latin American and Chinese dishes of were attacked mercilessly by all. Thanks for another productive term and enjoy a safe Holiday.

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Manjinder receives 2016 Master Thesis Research Award!

manjManjinder Kaur, a researcher from our 3D Printed Biosurfaces lab and who graduated with a Masters Degree in Biosystems Engineering this past summer, received the 2016 Master Thesis Award from Auburn University. Her work titled “Effect of Substratum Topography on Algal Turf Colonization and Productivity under Different Nutrient Conditions”, chaired by Dr. Blersch, was one of five campus-wide theses selected for this prestigious award. Her work will be entered to the Master Theses Award competition sponsored by the Conference of Southern  Graduate Schools. Congrats to Manjinder, well deserved!

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Dr. Kardel heading to Georgia!

Pic 1Kamran Kardel successfully defended his dissertation this past June and went through his doctoral hooding ceremony at the commencement exercises this past weekend. Dr. Kardel is joining the faculty ranks at the Department of Manufacturing Engineering at Georgia Southern University. Congrats!

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Fellowship at NASA

This summer 2016, I will be a faculty fellow at NASA Marshal Flight Space Center in Huntsville, Alabama. I will be working with with their fantastic team in the ISM (In-Space Manufacturing) program which aims at supporting deep space missions beyond LEO (such as the Evolvable Mars Campaign) with manufacturing capabilities in microgravity/zero G environments. I look forward to sharing some of these experiences with my additive manufacturing class this fall 2016!

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End of the Year – Group Cookout


Right to left: Eric Vogt, Stephanie Gray, Dr. David Blersch, Joseph Ekong, Gabriel Proano, MinHong Jian, Manjinder Kaur, Ali Khoshkhoo, Michael McClay, Kamran Kardel, John, Bakr Nassief, and yours truly.

For a third year in a row – which I guess makes it a tradition – we celebrated another productive academic year on May 9th. Hosted once again at “Casa Carrano”, our group consisting of Research Assistants, Teaching Assistants, Senior Design teams and doctoral/master students and their respective families enjoyed awesome food, drinks and displayed some truly terrible ping pong and basketball skills.

Good fun, thanks for another great year.


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