Student Spotlight: Evan Harris

Evan HarrisYSU STEM loves to highlight student achievements and experiences! Please email us about students who have accomplished great things at STEMNews@ysu.edu so we can get the word out about our exceptional students!

Evan Harris is a junior Electrical Engineering student. He is a research assistant at YSU that helps collect data in groundbreaking experiments involving 3D printing and artificial intelligence.

Evan performs his research under Dr. Eric MacDonald, a professor and distinguished researcher in YSU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He has also worked with several of Dr. MacDonald’s co-workers, other distinguished professors and researchers on staff at YSU, as well as his classmates Andrea Beck and Chad Lynagh.

“Our group is currently handling projects dealing with Additive Manufacturing ranging from Commercial 3D printing to Industrial Sand Casting utilizing Computer Vision and Machine Learning, to recognize when a print is failing or about to fail,” said Evan. “We are also using the university’s S-Max 3D printer to gather experimental data on sand molds containing cavities of complex geometries to be used in metal casting, something that wasn’t previously possible. YSU is one of only two universities in the country with S-Max printers.”

“We hope to increase the efficiency, quality, and performance of both methods of 3D printing,” said Evan. “The commercial project aims to create a closed-loop system that recognizes common hazards, stops defective prints, and saves filament (feedstock) in the process. We’re comparing data we collect from our sand casting experiments to today’s models, looking for inconsistencies. Porosity is a very complex, yet important, property when it comes to casting metal, so the more data we can collect, the more we can learn about what causes defects and how that compares to current models.”

Through this research project, Evan hopes to learn more about Additive Manufacturing and have the opportunity to help advance the field in future.

“It’s an exciting area of study that could expand existing technologies and lead to new ones,” said Evan. “Large companies are beginning to take advantage of 3D printing metal parts that are currently out of production.”

When speaking about the 3D printing, “our YSU professors are also pioneering research into the way metal casting works. We’re one of only two universities in the country to have an S-Max 3D printer, and that gives us the ability to design our own experiments and try things that have never been explored, which to me is really exciting,” said Evan.

In addition to his research, Evan is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honors Society, and a member of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Evan is also a huge Steelers fan.

To find out more about the research Evan participates in, visit the Google Scholar page for Dr. Eric MacDonald. You can also email Evan at emharris@student.ysu.edu.