Jack Pennuto Jr. of Louisville, Ky., a graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Missouri-Rolla, recently received the "Best Student Paper Award" at the 23rd International Congress on Applications of Lasers and Electro-Optics held in San Francisco. Pennuto’s paper will appear in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Laser Applications.
Pennuto’s paper, titled "Characteristics of Parallel Irradiations in Laser Forming of Stainless Steel (402)," discusses the effects of laser forming stainless steel sheet. "In laser forming, the laser is used as a heat source to deform sheet material," Pennuto explains. "Laser forming can be used to correct distortion of welded products such as car body panels or to manufacture prototypes. The benefit of laser forming is that it requires no tooling to manufacture a part, unlike other traditional manufacturing processes such as stamping. This also allows considerable flexibility for design changes."
Pennuto’s research looks into two aspects of the laser forming process: how the energy input influences the deformation of the stainless steel and whether laser heating the stainless steel multiple times affects its strength and other mechanical properties. He completed the work under the guidance of Dr. Joohyun Choi, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UMR.
Pennuto received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from UMR in May 2004. Last fall, he received a "Best Student Paper Award" for a paper titled "Development and Evaluation of Numerical Modeling in Undergraduate Research" at the American Society of Engineering Education Midwest Conference held at UMR. The paper was co-authored by Sean Garceau, who received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from UMR in 2003.