Kusum Meena, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Research Interests: Building a few defense and biomedical applications based on the invented auxetic structure using additive manufacturing technology
Born in Kota, Rajasthan, the epicenter for engineering coaching , it was but natural that the ‘ engineering dreams ’ were sown in Kusum at a very young age.
“As a teenager, I found that I was interested in some things which were otherwise difficult to understand,” she says.
It was while pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University College of Engineering Kota, that she developed an interest in Mechanical Engineering. Her interest in the subject further blossomed while doing her Masters from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur in manufacturing science and Technology. She developed a special interest in the ares of Additive manufacturing or 3D printing of manufacturing. Her next academic destination was the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand to pursue a PhD degree.
“My PhD project was an amalgamation of auxetic materials and additive manufacturing technology. The auxetic materials fall in the category of smart materials and they depict the negative Poisson’s ratio. The negative Poisson's ratio of the auxetic materials is the result of the architecture of the building block unit of the structure unlike the bulk composition of the conventional materials. This particular characteristic is being utilized in many applications from biomedical to defense to industrial and a lot more. During my Ph.D. work, I invented one auxetic structure and developed several hybrid auxetic models, and thankfully, the fabrication was an easy process using the additive manufacturing technology irrespective of the complexity of geometry, which otherwise is difficult with the conventional manufacturing processes.,” she says.
Currently her research work is focused in two directions, one is developing and designing the 3-dimensional auxetic models that would result in overall enhanced mechanical and auxetic properties. Secondly, building a few defense and biomedical applications based on the invented auxetic structures using additive manufacturing technology. She is also looking to collaborate with defense agencies like DRDO to build enhanced safety gears like crash helmets and bulletproof jackets.