Danielle Cote, director of WPI’s Center for Materials Processing Data and assistant research professor in mechanical engineering knows the valuable connection between reliable data, excellent materials, and a high-quality, precise manufacturing result. When all three are aligned, the manufacturing process is improved.

What initially sparked your interest in manufacturing?

As a materials scientist, my focus is on properties and behaviors of materials. These properties are greatly affected by the way something is manufactured. In order to fully understand, characterize, and develop new materials, an understanding of manufacturing is essential.

What do people not know about manufacturing that you wish they did?

Manufacturing processes are quite diverse. There are both simple and complex processes, nanoscale and massive processes, economic and expensive processes, etc.

What’s the most interesting/surprising thing you've learned about manufacturing while at WPI?

I was surprised to discover the level of research and development that goes into an efficient and successful manufacturing process, including scientific, business, and engineering planning. Manufacturing can be significantly more complex than I realized.

How do you hope your contributions to manufacturing will impact the world?

My current research with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory involves an additive manufacturing process that allows for effective in situ repair and production of parts for a variety of military applications. These efforts should help improve the effectiveness of the military.

The future of manufacturing is additive manufacturing. With the incredible advancement of computational power, robotics, and novel materials, combined with the significant benefits of convenience, economics, and ability to produce technically difficult parts, additive manufacturing has all the potential to be a mainstream manufacturing technique.