Goertzen Found Her Research Glass Slipper!

March 8, 2017

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Goertzen finally found her research glass slipper in the Nanotribology and Precision Engineering lab, led by mechanical engineering associate professor Bart Raeymaekers.

Maggie Goertzen (ME BS’17) grew up skiing, climbing, and mountain biking in Montana. Five years ago she moved to Salt Lake City to explore the Wasatch, to experience city life, and to start her mechanical engineering education (most likely in that order). However, as Goertzen progressed through each semester, she began to see the true value of pursuing education over being a hot shot in the outdoor industry.

She began to seek out research opportunities that would let her explore a variety of mechanical engineering emphases. Under the supervision of mechanical engineering assistant professor Amanda Smith and funding by UROP (undergraduate research opportunities program) Goertzen conducted an analysis of energy usage in high performance buildings. Goertzen then went on to work collaboratively, as a design engineer, in the chemical engineering department with assistant professor Swomitra Mohanty. In Dr. Mohanty’s lab she learned the significance of working with other engineering disciplines to solve complex problems. While Goertzen thoroughly enjoyed her experiences in both laboratories, they were not a perfect fit for her interests. Goertzen finally found her research glass slipper in the Nanotribology and Precision Engineering Lab, led by mechanical engineering associate professor Bart Raeymaekers.

Maggie GoertzenGoertzen’s research focuses on additive manufacturing of low-density multifunctional materials with tailored properties. The problem addressed in her research is integrating stereolithography additive manufacturing with ultrasound directed self-assembly, to organize (nano)particles dispersed in a liquid polymer into user-defined patterns. Ultrasound directed self-assembly employs standing pressure waves to drive (nano)particles dispersed in a fluid medium into user-defined patterns. Prof. Raeymaekers, Goertzen’s advisor, says “this research, if successful, will create a new manufacturing process that enables fabricating materials with a user-specified microstructure in a layer-by-layer fashion.”

Goertzen’s research on manufacturing of engineered materials has driven her excitement for aerospace. Due to her hard work and enthusiasm, she has been selected as a Brooke Owens Fellow for the Summer of 2017. In response to receiving the fellowship, Goertzen states “It is such an honor to be included in a group of amazing young women that are pushing the boundaries of the aerospace community.” She will be interning this summer with Made in Space in Mountainview, CA, a company leading the way in zero gravity 3D printing. She will also be attending the Brooke Owens Fellowship Conference and the Future Space Leaders Conference, both in Washington, DC.