AMUG Presentation

AMUG Scholarships awarded for 2021 event

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The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) has announced the recipients of its annual scholarships, which make it possible for two lucky souls to attend the event each year for free.

John Sorvillo, director for Westwood Prep Academy at New Beginnings (Youngstown, Ohio), has been awarded the Randy Stevens Scholarship, while Sean Dobson, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in material science at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, has been awarded the Guy E. Bourdeau Scholarship.

As scholarship recipients, Sorvillo and Dobson will attend the excellent AMUG Conference, where they will be able to engage with additive manufacturing users, and also take to the stage to present their work on

The AMUG Conference will be held in Orlando, Florida, USA 2 – 6 May 2021, where DEVELOP3D will continue to act as a media partner and bring you all the latest developments from this key industry focal point.

AMUG 2021 Scholarship_recipients
AMUG Scholarship recipients John Sorvillo (L) and Sean Dobson (R)

The scholarships honor and recognise students and teachers that demonstrate a passion for AM. The 2021 recipients demonstrate the passion in two ways: a dedication to advancing the technology and a commitment to advancing individuals through the technology.

Brett Charlton, chair of the AMUG Scholarship Committee, said: “Educators are using AM to expand minds and stretch the boundaries of education.

“Students are tackling significant issues and expanding the applications of AM in the world. The applications were numerous, amazing, and inspiring.


“The committee had quite a challenge in making its selections, but it determined that John Sorvillo and Sean Dobson epitomised what the scholarships represent.”

John Sorvillo is and elementary school teacher with a decade’s experience. In his current role the pupils are in residential care, most under court custody with no familial provisions.

As a director at the academy, Sorvillo builds programs, teaches, and counsels with the goal of inspiring hope through education. He said: “We try to leverage that education into their therapy, bringing us back to inspiring hope in them. We set them up to succeed in our classrooms. The more they achieve, the more they believe in themselves.”

Initially, the academy had one 3D printer, but it struggled to incorporate it into instructional lessons. With Sorvillo’s efforts, it now has four printers that function as conduits for experiencing life skills, such as teamwork; acquiring technology skills, such as CAD design; and gaining ‘soft skills’ needed to function in society.

“We’re able to show at-risk students a whole new way of learning. This technology has opened avenues of teaching that we never imagined. We are able to positively impact many facets of our student’s lives,” he added. “3D printing has given us the ability to make our kids a positive force in our community.”

As an undergraduate in mechanical engineering at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA, Sean Dobson’s introduction to AM occurred during an internship in Gulfstream Aerospace’s 3D Printing Laboratory.

“I left the internship with a newfound desire for AM,” said Dobson, adding that he also discovered an affinity for sharing that passion with others through training, tours, and collaborations.

He said: “There is an ingrained feeling of pride working in a field that can bring so many people together and engage the young and old in a STEM field.”

The interest in AM that he discovered during the internship led him to become an undergraduate research assistant in U of L’s Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC). There he found that metal additive manufacturing was the area in which he was most interested. And he followed that path in working on RPC projects for organizations such as NASA and the U.S. Navy.

Dobson’s senior project – creating an affordable, modular desktop machine for FDM, CNC milling, laser cutting, and injection moulding – spilled outside of the lab when he and two colleagues founded ModMan Technology.

Currently working towards a Ph.D. in material science at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, Dobson also works for Vertex Manufacturing as an additive and material engineer. Greg Morris, CEO of Vertex Manufacturing and a pioneer in metal AM, said: “He has been a tremendous asset to Vertex Manufacturing. The passion that Sean exhibits for this field of work on a daily basis is inspiring, even for those of us that share the same passion.”

The scholarships offer a ‘free ride’ to attend the AMUG Conference. Asked why he wants to be a part of the conference, Dobson said: “AMUG is a place where the titans of our industry meet to discuss the current state of AM year after year; a place where individuals come to learn and share. This is why I want to attend AMUG; to learn from those who have experience far beyond my own, and to share what I have learned with those who may just be starting out.”

Sorvillo’s response: “I would love to see how this equipment operates in the larger picture of the entire industry and how we can incorporate that into lessons to better help our kids have a shot at success. I would like the opportunity to make contacts in this industry who can help us educate our students on what it takes to enter this field as a business owner.”

To find out more about AMUG, or to register for this year’s event, click here for more information.

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