Rice AMPT Center welcome its first inaugural members

Rice Engineering is pleased to recognize Varel International and ConocoPhillips as the first two corporate members of the AMPT Center.





We welcome Varel International and ConocoPhillips to the AMPT Center Advisory Board, and we look forward to working with these and other partners in driving the direction of AMPT Center research.

To join these companies are members of the AMPT Center, please visit our membership page.

Rice Engineering launches the Additive Manufacturing, Performance & Tribology (AMPT) Center

August 15-16, 2019
Rice University

The AMPT Center is pleased to share selected research presentations from the Inaugural AMPT Symposium, held August 15-16, 2019, at Rice University.  These files are password-protected; distribution is limited to AMPT Members and industry representatives who attended the Symposium.  For access to materials from this and future AMPT Symposia and other work of the AMPT Center, please become a Member of the Center.


The Inaugural AMPT Symposium, held August 15-16, 2019, showcased the latest intersectional research in the fields of Additive Manufacturing, Performance and Tribology, highlighting the powerful research capabilities of Rice University’s new AMPT Center. With more than 75 industry and academic represantatives in attendance, the program  included a series of technical sessions highlighting the research capabilities of the AMPT Center, followed by collaborative discussions among industry representatives and Rice faculty to identify future research objectives.  While each technical session focused on a specific thrust, the talks in each session intentionally spanned disciplinary boundaries, in order to stimulate ideas for innovation and collaboration.

Day 2 of the Symposium introduced the AMPT Center membership model and how corporate and national laboratory members can help set the strategic direction of AMPT research.  The Inaugural Symposium is organized by the founding faculty of AMPT.




For the Inaugural AMPT Symposium, the technical speakers are Rice researchers and collaborators who will present the research capabilities of the AMPT Center.  Future AMPT Symposia will include speakers representing AMPT Center Members.  For a detailed list of speakers, please visit the Speakers page.


Thursday, August 15

Focus of Day 1:   technical sessions and lab visits highlighting the research capabilities of the AMPT Center.  While each technical session has a general thrust, the talks in each session intentionally span disciplinary boundaries, in order to stimulate ideas for research and collaboration.

Detailed schedule (for a printed copy of this schedule, please download the AMPT Symposium Logistics Packet 2019):

  • 8:00 Light breakfast
  • 8:30 Welcome
    • Opening speaker:  Reginald DesRoches, Dean of Engineering
  • 8:40 Overview of the AMPT Center — Fred Higgs, John & Ann Doerr Professor of Mechanical Engineering and AMPT Center Co-Director
  • 8:45 Technical Session 1 — Additive Manufacturing:  Optimizing Process and Structure
    • Controlling Form and Function through Metal Additive Manufacturing — Zack Cordero, Dept. of Materials Science & NanoEngineering and AMPT Center founding faculty (session chair)
    • Laser-Induced Graphene to 3-D Printed Structures —  James Tour, T. T. & W. F. Chao Professor of Chemistry
    • Additive Manufacturing of Shape-Responsive Liquid Crystal Polymer Networks — Rafael Verduzco, Dept. of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
    • From Dust to Dreams: Opportunities in Binder Jet Additive Manufacturing — Amy Elliott, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
    • Spreadify: AI-enabled Spreading Recipes for Defect-free 3D-printed Parts — Prathamesh Desai, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
  • 10:35 Technical Session 2 — Tribology:  Optimizing Design for Moving Contact
    • Elucidating friction and wear in AMPT-related applications via in situ and in silico tribology — Fred Higgs, John & Ann Doerr Professor of Mechanical Engineering and AMPT Center Co-Director (session chair)
    • Illuminating Progress on 3D Bioprinting of Vascularized Tissues and Organoids — Jordan Miller, Dept. of Bioengineering
    • Fluidic Control through Surface Engineering — Daniel J. Preston, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
    • Prevention is Better than Cure: Machinery Health Monitoring through Lubricant Analysis — Gagan Srivastava, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering / Dow Chemical Company
  • 12:00 Networking Lunch
  • 1:00 Guided tours of AMPT Center founding research facilities
    • Tour leaders:  Professors Higgs, Brake, and Cordero
  • 3:15 Technical Session 3 — Performance, Characterization and Applications:  Optimizing Systems and Components
    • AMPT Assemblies: Using AM and Tribology to Improve Structural Performance and Efficiency — Matthew Brake, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering and AMPT Center Co-Director (session chair)
    • Characterizing Thermal Performance of Materials with High Spatial Resolution — Geoff Wehmeyer, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
    • High-Performing Personalized Medical Devices — Nicholas Dunbar, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
  • 4:20 Preview of Day 2 and evening directions
  • 4:30 Poster competition and reception
  • 6:00 Inaugural AMPT Symposium Dinner at Rice University Faculty Club

Friday, August 16

Focus of Day 2:  discussion among industry representatives and Rice faculty to identify current research gaps and near-term research priorities.

Detailed schedule:

  • 8:00 Light breakfast
  • 8:30 Strategic Vision and Model of the AMPT Center
  • 9:30 Small group discussions: AMPT-related Research Gaps and Goals for Industry-Academic Collaboration
    • Facilitators:  Professors Higgs, Brake, and Cordero
  • 11:30 Working Lunch: Trends and Research Directions
  • 1:00 Inaugural AMPT Symposium adjourns
  • The Inaugural AMPT Symposium takes place in Duncan Hall (Building 46 on the main Rice campus map).  The main entrance to Duncan Hall is at the southeast corner of the building, next to the inner campus loop.  AMPT Symposium events take place in the main foyer and in the auditorium and conference rooms adjoining.
  • The AMPT Symposium Dinner for industry participants, invited speakers, and Rice faculty is held at the Rice University Faculty Club in historic Cohen House (Building 9 on the campus map).

For printed directions and maps, please download the AMPT Symposium Logistics Packet 2019.  For Rice campus maps in a variety of formats, please visit https://www.rice.edu/campus-maps


The two best options for visitor parking are:

  1. Founders Court Visitor Lot (FC) (next to Cohen House, Building 9), approximately 6 minute walk (0.3 miles) to Duncan Hall.  Access via one of the following campus entrances:
    • Entrance 2 (Main St. opposite Hermann Park), then turn left
    • Entrance 3 (Main St. at Cambridge St.), then turn right at inner campus loop.
  • At this lot, use a credit card at the gate to enter, and the same credit card at the gate to exit.
  1. Central Campus Garage (underneath McNair Hall, Building 57), approximately 10 minute walk (0.5 miles) to Duncan Hall.Access via one of the following campus entrances:
    • Entrance 2 (Main St. opposite Hermann Park)
    • Entrance 4 (Main St. opposite UT Health Science Center Professional Bldg.)
    • Entrance 8 (University Blvd. at Stockton St.)
    • Entrance 20 (Rice Blvd. at Kent St.)
    • The garage entrance is on the campus loop road, between bus stops 16 and 17.  The loop road is one-way counterclockwise.
  • At this garage, take a ticket when you enter, and take the ticket with you.  Before returning to your car, pay at one of the pay machines in the garage.

For printed directions and maps, please download the AMPT Symposium Logistics Packet 2019.

  • There are several business hotels near the Rice University campus.  Some are within walking distance, and most offer complimentary shuttle service.  A partial list can be found here.
  • Houston is served by two airports:
    • William P. Hobby Airport (HOU):  located south of downtown.  Hobby Airport is the closest airport to Rice University and is a hub for Southwest Airlines.  International service is limited to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.
    • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH):  located north of the city.   With five terminals, Bush Intercontinental is a principal hub for United and serves many international destinations throughout the world.
  • Houston TranStar is the hub for traffic information, including real-time status as well as planned road closures, throughout the Greater Houston metropolitan area and surrounding region.

Registration is available now:

AMPT Symposium Registration

Limited walk-up registration will be available the morning of the conference.


  • Paid registration includes light breakfast and lunch on Thursday, the AMPT Symposium Dinner on Thursday evening, and light breakfast and Working Lunch on Friday.  Both the Dinner and the Working Lunch are integral parts of the Symposium.
  • Rice faculty/staff and Rice student registration includes light breakfast on Thursday and Friday and lunch on Thursday, subject to availability.

To receive an invitation, to inquire about AMPT corporate membership, or for any other information, please contact:

George Webb, AMPT Industry Liaison
George R. Brown School of Engineering | Rice University
MS 363 | 6100 Main Street | Houston, TX 77005
(713) 348-2704

Other Conferences Organized by Rice AMPT Faculty

The intended audience for the Inaugural AMPT Symposium is executives and researchers from industry and government.  For academic researchers, we recommend the following events hosted by the AMPT Center faculty:

  • Tribomechadynamics Conference
    • Chair:  Matthew Brake, Rice AMPT Center
    • Hosted every odd year, the Tribomechadynamics Conference at Rice University  is organized into four tracks:  Tribology, Contact Mechanics, Structural/Nonlinear Dynamics and Multidisciplinary Research
    • Houston, Texas, July 31-August 2, 2019
  • Binder Jet Additive Manufacturing: Materials, Modeling, and Experiments
    • Chairs:  C. Fred Higgs III and Zachary C. Cordero, Rice AMPT Center
    • Topics include :
      Improving porosity, dimensional accuracy, surface roughness, and other performance properties
      Optimization of input parameters in spreading, binding, sintering/infiltration, and post-processing stages
      Physics-based modeling and experimental validation
      Fluid-particle interaction between binder and powder
      Shrinkage and distortion during sintering and/or liquid metal infiltration
      New and exotic materials
      Novel binder chemistries
      Effects of environmental conditions on the process
    • Held at International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, Austin, Texas, August 12-14, 2019

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