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Professor Joseph Beaman has been named the recipient of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ 2016 Albert M. Sargent Progress Award, one of the organization’s most prestigious International Honor Awards. It was established to recognize significant accomplishments in the field of manufacturing processes, methods or systems and will be presented at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ (SME) Honor Award & Scholarship Presentations Ceremony on May 15 in Orlando, Florida.

Beaman was selected for pioneering, developing and commercializing selective laser sintering (SLS), a form of additive manufacturing (or 3-D printing), and for making his research widely available. The award also honors Beaman’s contributions to the advancement of the additive manufacturing field through leadership and organization. 

Selective laser sintering was invented in Beaman’s laboratory in the mid-1980s, subsequently transforming the manufacturing landscape. It still is regarded as one of the most promising additive manufacturing methods. 

Beaman joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1979 as an assistant professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering, where he has specialized in manufacturing and control. Specifically, Beaman introduced and continues to make revolutionary advances in the area of “solid freeform fabrication” — a term he coined in 1987 — an additive manufacturing approach that produces freeform solid objects directly from a computer model of the object without part-specific tooling or knowledge. 

Beaman’s innovations as well as his dedicated mentorship have made a significant impact on society that only continues to grow.

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