Joseph Cesarano III, Ph.D., an Alfred University (AU) alumnus who is president and founder of Robocasting Enterprises, LLC, recently delivered the 2014 John F. McMahon Lecture on the AU campus. The annual invited lecture is sponsored by AU’s Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering and was established to honor the memory of John F. McMahon, Ph.D., AU alumnus, faculty member, and dean of the College of Ceramics.
Cesarano’s talk, “3-D Printing of Ceramics via Robocasting,” included a review of the robocasting 3-D printing technique, a discussion on the colloidal particle behavior and manipulation used in robocasting, as well as a commercial perspective in the field. Robocasting, Cesarano explained, is “the automated micro-extrusion of concentrated fine-particulate pastes that can transition from a yield-pseudoplastic rheology to a dilatant, solid-like state upon deposition.” He said that robocasting is particularly suitable for the commercial-scale manufacturing of porous lattice structures and custom labware.
Each year, a distinguished ceramic scientist or engineer delivers the John F. McMahon Lecture and receives the John F. McMahon Award. McMahon promoted relationships between industry and academia, and advanced the education of ceramic engineers and artists during his tenure as dean of the College of Ceramics from 1949-65. He led the college to consider the vital needs of the industry while maintaining a strong academic tradition of basic fundamental research and education. Long before others seriously considered ceramic materials for automobiles, McMahon explored the idea with General Motors.
Cesarano received a bachelor’s of science degree, summa cum laude, in ceramic engineering from Alfred University in 1983, as well as a master’s in ceramic engineering and a doctorate in materials science from the University of Washington in 1985 and 1989, respectively. He has been a visiting scientist at Oak Ridge National Labs and the Swedish Ceramic Institute. From 1989-2007, he was a scientist with Sandia National Laboratories and served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering at New Mexico Tech.
At Sandia, he specialized in colloidal science and manipulation of fine particles for the development of material manufacturing technologies and process improvement. He has mentored over 50 students, several of whom are now university professors. He is an inventor of robocasting technology, has eight patents, three patents pending, and is an author on more than 30 technical papers. His publications on polyelectrolyte stabilization of ceramic particles are used in materials science curriculums worldwide and have been cited over 660 times. In February 2007, Cesarano took an entrepreneurial leave from Sandia and began full-time operational control of Robocasting Enterprises LLC, where he is currently president.