Jason Johnson Recognized for Additive Manufacturing of Glass Research

Jason Johnson, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in mathematics, has been working hard on his undergraduate research and has received recognition through presenting a paper at the Photonics West conference and receiving a prestigious internship offer.  Mr. Johnson internship offer is with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) this summer through the Department of Energy Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (DOE SULI) program. At LLNL, he will be working in the Materials Engineering Division on the additive manufacturing of glass optics using a direct ink writing process.

Mr. Johnson has been working on a team in the MAE department investigating the Additive Manufacturing of Glass. In this process, glass fibers or filaments are fed into the intersection of a CO2 laser beam and a work piece positioned by a four-axis CNC stage. He has led the research efforts within two different focuses of the AM of glass project; the AM of Gradient Refractive Index (GRIN) optics and the printing of fiber optic components. The second of these is the focus of his Photonics West paper he had presented. 

His work researching the printing of optical fiber has focused on printing fiber optic components for light routing including sensing applications. The ability of glass fiber to guide light down the length of the material is the basis of many communication and sensing technologies. The goal of the research is to combine this ability of fiber optics with the manufacturing capabilities offered through the AM of glass process in order to create unique designs for new types of integrated sensors for photonic applications. The Photonics West paper specifically focused on the development and optimization of the AM of glass process and parameter space for the printing of single-mode fiber to test the effects of the printing process on the fiber’s light-guiding abilities.

Mr. Johnson is from Edwardsville, IL.  He is also a member of Beta Sigma Psi and the Lutheran Student Fellowship.  He grew up on a family farm in rural Edwardsville, Illinois. He  has worked in all areas of grain and livestock farming from an early age. He was also exposed to a wide variety of equipment and operations at family rail terminals and towboat shipyards. Having exposure to a wide array of equipment and the challenges they presented created his interest in pursuing mechanical engineering. After graduating with a bachelor's degree, Mr. Johnson plans on continuing his education and work on research in graduate school.