It’s been described as the third industrial revolution. Additive manufacturing–more commonly known as 3-D printing–allows users to print things that would be almost impossible to make in a traditional machining environment. This past summer, Lehigh expanded the possibilities with a Renishaw 3-D metal printer, the second the British engineering company has ever made in its particular series and the first in the United States.
Lehigh acquired the new metal printer through an educational partnership with Renishaw. The industrial platform printer, which has a 400-watt laser and a 250x250x300-millimeter build chamber, employs what’s known as powder bed fusion technology. Any type of metal that can be rendered in powder form is loaded into the material hopper of the machine. An arm within the printer smooths the powder, and a laser selectively melts the powder together so it solidifies into a single metal piece. The build plate drops down 50 microns, and a new layer of powder, is pushed on top of it. The laser returns and selectively melts the next layer, which then melts into the layer below. The process repeats, layer by layer, until the desired part is fully formed.
As part of the uniquely comprehensive educational package, Renishaw is allowing Lehigh to change the machine’s processing parameters as needed for research.
"Far-reaching innovation happens when concepts and disciplines converge. We challenge faculty and students alike to increase their capacities for independent inquiry, for taking intellectual risks and learning from failures, for collaboration, and for recognizing important problems and opportunities to effect constructive and sustainable change."
Patrick V. Farrell Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
This past fall, Lehigh launched a Western Regional Office in San Mateo, Calif., in an effort to extend educational opportunities for students and faculty, build research partnerships and further engage alumni and prospective students.
In step with the new office, Lehigh has entered a partnership with the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, a nonprofit designed to educate and connect the entrepreneurial community, as its exclusive Academic in Residence partner. Together, Lehigh and the Center have created Lehigh@NasdaqCenter, an environment in San Francisco that is uniquely suited to advance students’ entrepreneurial spirit and skill sets, in any discipline.
“We are thrilled to launch this institutional partnership with someone who shares the same drive to nurture and support the entrepreneurial pursuit of value creation in our society,” said Lehigh President John Simon, in announcing the partnership.
The collaboration was initiated by Lehigh’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation.
“This will be a university-wide collaboration with Nasdaq that taps into our shared ethos of innovation,” said Baker Institute Executive Director Lisa Getzler. “Lehigh@NasdaqCenter provides a collaborative platform for Lehigh students, faculty and alumni to engage in innovation, entrepreneurial thinking and problem solving as it relates to a wide variety of disciplines.”
The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center was established in 2014 with support from the Nasdaq Educational Foundation, Inc. The mission of the foundation is to promote and provide opportunities through collaborations and initiatives that support and deliver innovative educational programs and charitable activities.
Caleb Conradi, an MBA student in Lehigh’s College of Business and Economics, may one day be known for revolutionizing men’s neckwear.
As founder of the Refined Bowties Co., Conradi has taken industrial materials—metals, concrete, wood and marble—and crafted them into bow ties that he now sells through boutiques and online sites.
The idea proved novel enough to win Conradi a $1,000 prize in the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation’s annual Thalheimer Student Entrepreneurs Competition, which awards funding to students interested in launching innovative ventures with early state business models.
105Students participated in self-designed projects over Summer 2016 through Lehigh’s Mountaintop Initiative, a 21st-century learning environment for discovery and engagement that is housed inside a former Bethlehem Steel research facility on the Lehigh campus. The 23 projects were guided by 45 faculty mentors who supported the independent inquiries.
3Number of faculty hired for the 2017-18 academic year for the Data X initiative, which leverages Lehigh’s historic interdisciplinary strengths to support innovative research in a broad range of disciplines that are increasingly impacted by data and technology
56Number of students who participated in LehighSilicon Valley, a weeklong immersive experience offered through the university’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation.