Jeff DeGrange, a University of Iowa College of Engineering alum, is being recognized with the Additive Manufacturing Industry Achievement Award from SME, a nonprofit association committed to advancing the widespread adoption of manufacturing technologies and developing North America’s talent and capabilities.
The chief commercial officer of Northbrook, Ill, -based Impossible Objects Inc., has made a career-long impact advancing additive manufacturing (AM), more commonly known as 3D printing, in aviation and across abroad range of industries. DeGrange led Boeing’s corporate AM transition and successfully led the team that certified and qualified production flight parts on the F/A-18 Hornet and 787 Dreamliner.
His efforts have intersected with UI researchers. DeGrange worked closely with Xuan Song, a UI associate professor of industrial and systems engineering, to secure a $1 million Department of Energy REMADE contract to turn wastepaper into high-value fiber reinforced plastic as part of a collaboration between UI and Impossible Objects. DeGrange and Song have also partnered on a National Science Foundation EPSCoR Track-1 grant to fabricate composite components using biochemicals and biofibers.
DeGrange earned an industrial engineering degree from the UI in 1986 and served as an advisory board member for the Departments of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering. DeGrange holds multiple U.S. and foreign patents in AM, served as first chairperson of the advisory board of Chicago Museum of Science and Industry FabLab, and is an active member with the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Initiative effort.
The achievement award was established in 2008 to recognize an individual or team for outstanding accomplishments that significantly impact the application of AM in any industry.