According to university history, “Dr. Caplenor’s efforts led to the creation of an award in his honor in 1984. The Caplenor Faculty Research Award is given to faculty who are engaged in outstanding research while employed at the University, and the winner receives a monetary award and a listing on a permanent plaque displayed in Derryberry Hall. As of 2016, 37 faculty have received the award, which has become the premiere recognition of faculty scholarship and creativity at TTU.”
Selection for the Caplenor Faculty Research Award is a lengthy, rigorous, peer-reviewed process that evaluates a faculty member’s performance as measured by contributions to scholarship and/or creativity that received wide recognition far beyond the University. There are numerous areas for potential contribution, and eight major criteria for nomination, including, to name just a few:
- Significant recognized peer-reviewed publications, including work with her/his students and collaborators in the field of scholarship or creativity.
- Presentations such as seminars, lectures, performances, galleries, etc. related to her/his field of scholarship or creativity, including those made by invitation as keynote and/or plenary lectures.
- Contributions to the profession such as membership on editorial boards, editing journals, special issues, books, etc. and the organization of professional meetings (technical, educational, art exhibitions, etc.)
As just one example of Dr. Ismail Fidan’s dedication to research and creativity at TTU: Over many years his efforts to understand and push the boundaries of what is possible with additive manufacturing is paying dividends now in this moment of crisis. He and his engineering students turned the university makerspace, STEM Center, and department labs into 24/7 3D print shops for COVID-19 protective face shield parts serving state and national needs.
Under his guidance, the university was also awarded an NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) project grant to establish the Additive Manufacturing Coalition and Hub (AM-WATCH). That network is also supporting the university’s efforts around COVID-19. As we shared in the AM News post, the 3D printing COVID-19 effort has produced thousands of face shields (personal protective equipment or PPE) for area first responders and other healthcare professionals.
It is said that Dr. Caplenor symbolized the essence of teaching and research. He was “trained to be a scientist, and he practiced his science with all the intellectual rigor attendant to his profession. But he also had the feeling of a poet and artist,” said former TTU President Arliss Roaden. According to others, “teaching for [Dr. Caplenor] was as natural as his breathing.”
For those of us who know Dr. Fidan, and for those yet to meet him, we at AM News believe the Caplenor award also recognizes these amazing traits and steadfast dedication in our colleague and friend. Congratulations on your achievement, Dr. Ismail Fidan.
Here are a few of his other achievements that may inspire your additive manufacturing ambitions:
Due to his innovation-mindedness, he has received the TTU’s Sissom Innovation and Creativity Award three times and the TBR (Tennessee Board of Regents) Lana Doncaster Innovation Award twice. His team is tasked to “innovate in and for additive manufacturing.” Here are a few of his active research projects in Additive Manufacturing:
1) They are working to develop lightweight low-cost sustainable composite printed parts for the automotive and dental industries.
2) They are developing low-cost metal 3D Printed parts for the industry overall.
3) They invented a 3D Printer that can dispense any paste type materials (shown in video above).
4) He and his team developed remote access features and apps to help additive manufacturing labs around the nation.
5) In coordination with Somerset Community College, they created a mobile learning AM platform.
Finally, if you have been seeking to learn more about the cutting edge of additive manufacturing, the TTU Golden Eagle Additively Innovative Lecture Series brings experts in from around the world for a virtual lecture. Dr. Fidan and team have been doing it for the last nine semesters (4.5 years).