James Mikulak, PhD

James Mikulak, PhD

Material Scientist, Mechanical Engineer and 3D Printing Materials Expert

Location
Austin, Texas (Austin, Texas Area)
Industry
Plastics

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James Mikulak, PhD's Overview

Current
  • Founder and President at Structured Polymers Inc
Past
  • Materials Development Consultant at Stratasys
  • Materials Science Researcher and Lab Instructor in Material Science at University of Texas At Austin
  • Senior Mechanical Engineer (Partner) at ESA Enterprises Inc
  • Chief Technology Officer / Senior Design Engineer at Casinotek Inc
  • Product Design/ Mechanical Engineer -- Beta Design Team Coordinator at DTM Corporation
  • Mechanical Engineer/ Manufacturing Director at Metal Optics
  • Energy Auditor (residential and commercial), Energy Management Department at City of Austin
  • General Partner at CCMP Solar
Education
Connections

500+ connections

James Mikulak, PhD's Summary

Research Material Scientist, Material Process Engineer and Mechanical Engineer, with a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Texas Material Institute, University of Texas at Austin, as well as a MSE and BSME in Mechanical Engineering also from the University of Texas at Austin.

Experienced in product design, materials characterization, custom materials development, honeycomb materials, materials processing, manufacturing processes, project engineering, tooling, fixturing and machine design. Also in material characterization techniques including scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, specimen preparation and mechanical property testing.

Strong computer and 3D CAD skills. (Solidworks) Experience with modeling elastic responses of honeycomb structures analytically and using ABAQUS a commercial finite element analysis (FEA) code. Experience with LABVIEW applications usage, design and programming.

Extensive knowledge of and experience with conventional and advance manufacturing methods, including; polymer co-extrusion, polymer/ceramic co-extrusion including extrusion of solid oxide fuel cells SOFCs, micro-fabrication using co-extrusion, additive manufacturing techniques including Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), including developing materials for both, precision sheet metal fabrication, and CNC milling and turning.

Experience in a leadership role in technical start-ups including intellectual property strategy and development, business plan development and implementation and fundraising. Experience in identifying, qualifying and monitoring key suppliers, managing development, design and production projects, troubleshooting defects and product failures, managing the design, testing, and documentation processes, and acting as technical liaison to senior management, investors, key suppliers and customers

James Mikulak, PhD's Experience

Founder and President

Structured Polymers Inc

Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Plastics industry

August 2012Present (2 years 2 months) Austin Texas

Structured Polymers is a Austin Technology Incubator startup developing materials for powder based additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping and 3D Printers

Materials Development Consultant

Stratasys

Public Company; 1001-5000 employees; SSYS; Mechanical or Industrial Engineering industry

March 2010December 2013 (3 years 10 months)

Consulted on the development of new co-extruded polymers for use in extrusion based additive manufacturing

Materials Science Researcher and Lab Instructor in Material Science

University of Texas At Austin

Educational Institution; 10,001+ employees; Higher Education industry

2004December 2011 (7 years) Texas Material Institute, the University of Texas at Austin

PhD Candidate in Materials Science and Engineering

Graduate Teaching Assistant: Mechanical Engineering Materials Labs

The Department of Mechanical Engineering, the University of Texas at Austin

Earned PhD under Dr. Desiderio Kovar in Materials Science and Engineering at the Texas Materials Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, research in design; manufacture, finite element modeling and testing of finely structured cellular ceramic honeycomb materials constructed using additive manufacturing or co-extrusion based micro fabrication techniques. Work involves modeling size effects and cell gradations effects on the bending response of hexagonal cellular materials. Additional research interests include fabrication of micro-tubular solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and morphology development in semi-crystalline polymers.

Teaching responsibilities consisted of teaching materials testing and materials processing laboratories to undergraduate Mechanical Engineering students. This includes teaching hands on basic metallographic specimen preparation, heat treating, mechanical testing of metals, polymers and ceramics, optical and electron microscopy, and other materials processing and characterization techniques.

Recent Presentation: MS&T2010 - Porous Materials Symposium: Characterization and Properties of Honeycombs, Foams, and Highly Porous Materials Symposium: Talk Title -- Size Effects in Honeycomb Materials in Compression and Bending

Senior Mechanical Engineer (Partner)

ESA Enterprises Inc

19932003 (10 years)

Co-founded and managed an engineering design and services company that specialized in design, modifications and service of computer controlled testing and manufacturing equipment, test and measurement systems, and tooling and fixturing engineering.

Planned and implemented installations, retrofits and repairs of CNC mills, lathes, grinders and hydraulic presses at customer sites. Provided manufacturing engineering, tooling and fixturing design and mechanical design consulting to a variety of customers. In 1995 expanded into design/build engineering house with in house manual and CNC machining capability, provided design, prototyping and limited run manufacturing services, designed and built custom test equipment.

Chief Technology Officer / Senior Design Engineer

Casinotek Inc

19972000 (3 years)

Co-founded and managed a technology development company which designed, tested and manufactured a real time transaction processing system for casino table game operations.

Responsible for the design, build, test and field installation of system that utilized automatic data collection, through patented multi-channel ultra-sonic chip tray, and thin client applications running on Microsoft CE clients using a wireless LAN for real-time reporting and observational data collection.

Product Design/ Mechanical Engineer -- Beta Design Team Coordinator

DTM Corporation

19901993 (3 years)

As Product/Mechanical Engineer was involved in the design and support of the early generations of the Selective Laser Sintering Systems. Including redesign of drive mechanism on the SLS 125, the design and build of external conditioning units to provide a filtered, cooled and inert environment for the processing of the wax and other early materials in the SLS 125s. Was responsible for on-site vendor relations, quality assurance and acceptance of the SLS125 with the primary vendor, Gem City Engineering in Dayton, Ohio.

Became SLS 2000 Beta design team coordinator, mid project, and was responsible for supervision, coordination and management of engineering, testing and build teams that released the Beta version of the SLS200 rapid Prototyping system. Specific responsibilities included responsibility for technical issues with key vendors, process testing, module and software testing and on-site beta test program.

Mechanical Engineer/ Manufacturing Director

Metal Optics

19871990 (3 years)

Started, with several partners, a company to manufacture energy efficient lighting systems for commercial office and retail buildings.

Developed and supervised from ground up a high volume multi-shift CNC manufacturing operation to produce energy efficient lighting fixtures and components.Specified and purchased CNC sheet metal equipment and managed operations, including control of three shift production scheduling,prototyping and quality control, had joint responsible for designing energy saving retrofit and new lighting fixtures to maximize optical and overall efficiency while minimizing manufacturing costs

Energy Auditor (residential and commercial), Energy Management Department

City of Austin

Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Government Administration industry

19831986 (3 years)

Was one of the first employees of City of Austin's new Energy Conservation Department. Helped design and implement energy conservation incentive programs.

Conducted many whole house energy audits and commercial energy audits.

General Partner

CCMP Solar

19801983 (3 years)

Started a company that designed, manufactured and installed integral passive solar water heating systems

James Mikulak, PhD's Volunteer Experience & Causes

  • Volunteer Experience

    • Volunteer

      Girlstart
      • Science and Technology

James Mikulak, PhD's Publications

  • Size effects in out-of-plane bending in elastic honeycombs fabricated using additive manufacturing: modeling and experimental results

    • The University of Texas at Austin
    • December 20, 2011

    Size effects in out-of-plane bending stiffness of honeycomb cellular materials were studied using analytical mechanics of solids modeling, fabrication of samples and mechanical testing. Analysis predicts a positive size-effect relative to continuum model predictions in the flexure stiffness of a honeycombed beam loaded in out-of-plane bending. A method of determining the magnitude of that effect for several different methods of constructing or assembling square-celled and hexagonal-celled materials,using both single-walled and doubled-walled construction methods is presented. Hexagonal and square-celled honeycombs, with varying volume fractions were fabricated in Nylon 12 using Selective Laser Sintering. The samples were mechanically tested in three-point and four point-bending to measure flexure stiffness. The results from standard three-point flexure tests, did not agree with predictions based on a mechanics of solids model for either square or hexagonal-celled samples. Results for four-point bending agreed with the mechanics of solids model for the square-celled geometries but not for the hexagonal-celled geometries. A closed form solution of an elasticity model for the response of the four-point bending configuration was developed, which allows interpretation of recorded displacement data at two points and allows separation the elastic bending from the localized, elastic/plastic deformation that occurs between the loading rollers and the specimen’s surface. This localized deformation was significant in the materials tested. With this analysis, the four-point bending data agreed well with the mechanics of solids predictions.

James Mikulak, PhD's Honors and Awards

  • George J. Heuer, Jr. Ph.D. Endowed Graduate Fellowship

    University of Texas at Austin
    • December 2007
  • H. Grady Rylander Longhorn Mechanical Engineering Club Excellence in Teaching Fellowship Endowment

    University of Texas at Austin
    • January 2009
  • Harris L. Marcus Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Materials Science and Engineering

    University of Texas at Austin
    • June 2009
  • University of Texas Advanced Manufacturing Center Academic Competitive Scholarship

    University of Texas at Austin
    • January 2005

James Mikulak, PhD's Courses

  • BSME, Mechanical Engineering

    The University of Texas at Austin

    • Computer Aided Design (ME 386 J)
    • Automatic Control Sys Design (ME 364 L)
    • Funds of Engr Vibrations (ME 387 M)
    • ME Design Methodology (ME 366 J)
    • Matrices & Matrix Calculations (M 340 L)
    • Industrial Design for Production (ME 365 L)
    • Dynamic Systems and Controls (ME 344)
    • Elect Mach & Magnetic Devices (EE 355M)
    • Technical Communications (CE 377K)
    • ME Measurement & Instrumentation (ME W340K)
    • Heat Transfer & Rate Processes (ME W339)
    • Engr Economic Analysis (ME 352)
    • Machine Elements (ME 338)
    • Materials Processing (ME 336)
    • Thermodyanamics II (ME 328)
    • Fluid Mechanics Laboratory (ME 145L)
    • Fluid Mechanics (ME 345)
    • Thermodynamics I (ME 326)
    • Kinematics & Dyn Mech Systems (ME 424)
    • Mech Engr Computations (ME 319)
    • Probabilty & Stat Engr (ME W335)
    • Materials Engineering I (ME W311)
    • Engineering Physics II (PHY 303L)
    • Engineering Graphical Communications (ME 201G)
    • Mechanics of Solids (EM 319)
    • Calculus III/Vector (M 418K)
    • Dynamics (EM 311)
    • Calculus II (ME 808EB)
    • Statics (EM 306)
  • Fire Protection Engineering

    Illinois Institute of Technology

    • Risk Mgt in Engineering (GE)
    • Statics and Dynamics (EM 406)
    • Calc Analyt Geom II (ME 808EA)
    • Gen Inorganic Chem (CH 204B)
  • MSE, Mechanical Engineering/Material Science

    The University of Texas at Austin

    • Introduction to Phase Transformations (ME386 P1)
    • Thermodynamics of Materials (ME386 P3)
    • Mechanical Behavior Of Materials (ME386 P2)
    • Experimental Techniques in Electron Microscopy (ME397)
    • Theory of Materials (ME386 Q1)
    • Phase Diagrams (ME386 Q2)
    • Material Characterization Techniques (ME387 R)
    • Corrosion (ME387Q)
    • Solid State Properties of Materials (ME386 P4)
    • Modern Physics (PHY 355)
    • Intellectual Propery (CHE W384)
    • X-ray Diffraction (CHE 386)
    • New Venture Creation (ME 395)
    • Experimental Techs in Elec Microscopy (ME 397)
    • Materials Engineering (ME 397 K)
    • Elec Circuits & Electronics (EE 331K)
    • Differential Equations (M 427K)

James Mikulak, PhD's Skills & Expertise

  1. SolidWorks
  2. Abaqus
  3. Materials Development
  4. Finite Element Analysis
  5. Materials Science
  6. Design for Manufacturing
  7. Labview
  8. ANSYS
  9. R&D
  10. DSC
  11. Powder X-ray Diffraction
  12. Solidworks
  13. Mechanical Testing
  14. Mechanical Engineering
  15. Differential Scanning Calorimetry
  16. Materials
  17. Pro Engineer
  18. Characterization
  19. Engineering
  20. Scanning Electron Microscopy
  21. Rapid Prototyping
  22. CAD
  23. Manufacturing Engineering
  24. Modeling
  25. Product Design
  26. Polymers
  27. Failure Analysis
  28. Composites
  29. Design of Experiments
  30. Manufacturing
  31. Simulations
  32. TGA
  33. Optical Microscopy
  34. Spectroscopy
  35. Thin Films
  36. Nanomaterials
  37. XPS
  38. Thermal Analysis
  39. AFM
  40. TEM
  41. Start-ups
  42. Nanotechnology
  43. Experimentation
  44. Electrochemistry
  45. Fuel Cells
  46. MEMS
  47. Optics
  48. Physics
  49. Mathematica
  50. Sensors

View All (50) Skills View Fewer Skills

James Mikulak, PhD's Patents

  • Gaming token tray employing ultrasonic token counting

    • United States Patent 5,742,656
    • Issued April 21, 1998
    Inventors: James Mikulak, PhD, Paul H. Clark, Carey W. Starzinger, Barry H. Wong

    A chip counter employs an ultrasonic distance measuring system to determine the number of chips in a stack in a chip tray channel . A computer initially stores an average chip thickness (T) and receives distance data from the ultrasonic distance measuring system indicative of a first distance (D.sub.1) to the bottom of an empty channel. To count chips, the computer repeatedly receives data from the ultrasonic distance measuring system indicative of a second distance (D.sub.2) to the top of the stack of chips in the channel. The computer subtracts the second distance from the first distance to determine a height of the stack of chips and then divides the height by the average chip thickness to provide a continuous count of the number of chips in the channel. In a multichannel chip tray, each channel has a distance measuring transducer, and a multiplexer scans all the transducers to provide the computer with second distance data for all channels in the chip tray.

  • Method for building three-dimensional models in extrusion-based additive manufacturing systems using core-shell semi-crystalline consumable filaments

    • United States Patent 8801990
    • Issued August 12, 2014
    Inventors: James Mikulak, PhD, Carl Deckard, Phd

    A consumable filament for use in an extrusion-based additive manufacturing system, where the consumable filament comprises a first portion of a first semi-crystalline polymeric material, and a second portion of a second semi-crystalline polymeric material, and where the second semi-crystalline polymeric material has a crystallization temperature that is greater than a crystallization temperature of the first semi-crystalline polymeric material.

  • Materials for Powder-Based Additive Manufacturing Processes

    • United States Patent Application 61/610,605
    • Filed March 14, 2012
    Inventors: James Mikulak, PhD, Carl Deckad, PhD
  • Core-Shell Consumable Materials For Use in Extrusion-Based Additive Manufacturing Systems

    • United States Patent Application 13/419,669
    • Filed March 14, 2012
    Inventors: James Mikulak, PhD, Carl Deckard, PhD

    A consumable filament for use in an extrusion-based additive manufacturing system, where the consumable filament comprises a core portion of a first thermoplastic material, and a shell portion of a second thermoplastic material that is compositionally different from the first thermoplastic material, where the consumable filament is configured to be melted and extruded to form roads of a plurality of solidified layers of a three-dimensional object, and where the roads at least partially retain cross-sectional profiles corresponding to the core portion and the shell portion of the consumable filament.

  • Additive Manufacturing Method For Building Three-Dimensional Objects With Core-Shell Arrangments, And Three-Dimensional Objects Thereof

    • United States Patent Application 13/855945
    • Filed August 29, 2013
    Inventors: James Mikulak, PhD

    A consumable filament for use in an extrusion-based additive manufacturing system, where the consumable filament comprises a core portion of a first thermoplastic material, and a shell portion of a second thermoplastic material that is compositionally different from the first thermoplastic material, where the consumable filament is configured to be melted and extruded to form roads of a plurality of solidified layers of a three-dimensional object, and where the roads at least partially retain cross-sectional profiles corresponding to the core portion and the shell portion of the consumable filament.

James Mikulak, PhD's Education

The University of Texas at Austin

Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering

20072011

Dissertation: Size effects in out-of-plane bending in elastic honeycombs fabricated using additive manufacturing: modeling and experimental results.

Speaker at MST2010 Porous Materials Symposium: Porous and Cellular Materials III Characterization and Properties of Honeycombs, Foams, and Highly Porous Materials Symposium: Porous and Cellular Materials : Size Effects in Honeycomb Materials in Compression and Bending

Activities and Societies: George J. Heuer, Jr. Ph.D. Endowed Graduate Fellowship 2007 H. Grady Rylander Longhorn Mechanical Engineering Club Excellence in Teaching Fellowship Endowment 2009 Harris L. Marcus Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Materials Science and Engineering 2009

The University of Texas at Austin

MSE, Mechanical Engineering/Material Science

20042007

Activities and Societies: University of Texas Advanced Manufacturing Center Academic Competitive Scholarship 2005-06

The University of Texas at Austin

BSME, Mechanical Engineering

19851988

Illinois Institute of Technology

Fire Protection Engineering

19751977

James Mikulak, PhD's Additional Information

Honors and Awards:

H. Grady Rylander Longhorn Mechanical Engineering Club
Excellence in Teaching Fellowship Endowment 2009


Harris L. Marcus Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Materials Science and Engineering 2009

George J. Heuer, Jr. Ph.D. Endowed Graduate Fellowship 2007

University of Texas Advanced Manufacturing Center Academic Competitive Scholarship 2005-06

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