Spring 2023 AMIC Lunch with Industry Seminar Kicks Off with a Bang!

AMIC lunch

Greetings AMIC!

Our first AMIC Spring 2023 Lunch with Industry Seminar took place this Tuesday, providing AMIC members access to our talents and our students to learn from industry experts! The event featured presentations from Dr. Joseph Castro, our UW-Madison College of Engineering (COE) Alum from the Nuclear Engineering department, who serves as the technical Manager at the Sandia National Laboratories. Dr. Behzad “Buzz” Rankouhi, UW-Madison COE alum from the Materials Science department and Co-founder of Dastan Technologies, also shared his entrepreneurship journey! 

According to Dr. Castro, Sandia National Laboratories is a premier research organization dedicated to safeguarding the security of the United States’ nuclear stockpile and advancing sustainable energy, national security, cyber security, and cutting-edge technology. The laboratory boasts a highly qualified and talented workforce of experts from diverse fields, including mechanical engineering, electronics, computer science, and more, many of whom hold advanced degrees such as PhDs and Master’s degrees. With a strong focus on research and development, Sandia seamlessly integrates mission support with innovative projects, fostering close collaboration with other leading national laboratories across the country. Sandia’s work-life balance and respectable working environment can be a big draw to our students, and students hired can stay or return to academia as desired. 

In 2020, Behzad “Buzz” Rankouhi co-founded Dastan Technologies with three faculty members to redesign new-generation electric motors in an environmentally friendly way. Currently, he is leading a $0.5 million project to de-risk his technology by 2024, describing his job as balancing on a unicycle at the intersection of materials science, electric machine design, and entrepreneurship. The current process of making motors is a multi-step process. Dastan aims to simplify by using a single-step, multi-material 3D printing technology, which eliminates the need for permanent magnets, windings, and laminations. As a result, the produced motors will be lighter, more cost-effective, and have improved performance. 

Buzz encouraged our students without the family burdens to embark on the entrepreneurial journey because startups present unique opportunities for high-risk, high-reward scenarios compared to established organizations. In addition, working in a startup provides more significant learning opportunities for accelerated professional growth. If you have extensive expertise in electric motor design, please join Buzz’s team as a technical partner! 

Over 40 attendees participated in this fantastic kick-off session for our 2023 AMIC Lunch Seminar with Industry Series! Thanks to all who contributed: our AMIC members, speakers, participants, and dedicated AMIC team! Specifically, we thank the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) for sponsoring this series. And please check out our events on AMIC website, and see you at the next seminar lunch!