In today’s issue:

  • ASTRO at AMUG 2024
  • Jared Blecher Joins ASTRO as Director of AM
  • ICYMI in Q1: ASTRO Participates in NCMS’s Technology Showcase at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
  • ASTRO Releases New Reports… and Launches a New Webpage
  • Making a Difference: ASTRO’s Emma Gallegos Mentors Students in STEM
  • Coming Up!

ASTRO at AMUG 2024

ASTRO was thrilled to join industry leaders in Chicago this month for AMUG 2024!

Team members LJ Holmes and Emma Gallegos participated on a panel titled, “Building Bigger Parts – Unlocking New Defense Sustainment Opportunities.”

Holmes moderated the discussion, focused on the U.S. Army’s Jointless Hull Program and use of Additive Friction Stir Deposition for large scale forge spares. Panelists discussed things like what types of applications are being considered and/or have already been printed, what other parts are in the pipeline, and what the future holds. Panelists also expanded beyond the Jointless Hull Program and machine to talk about large scale AM in general. The Military community needs larger parts than what typically fit in a powder bed system: How are we meeting these needs and what other technologies are being utilized to meet this ever growing need?

Other panelists included Laura Satkiewicz, GDLS; Matt Kelly, US Army GVSC; and Daniel Braley, Boeing Global Services.

In another breakout session, ASTRO’s Douglas Greenwood presented on the ongoing progress of the CAM-QT project, which aims to establish Installation Qualification (IQ) and Operational Qualification (OQ) requirements for printers producing in-service metal parts used in aircraft engines.

Click here for’s coverage of Doug’s presentation: Something Federal in the Air at AMUG 2024

ASTRO America is Excited to Announce Jared Blecher had Joined our Team As Director of Additive Technology

Jared will lead ASTRO’s initiatives to accelerate hypersonic vehicle fabrication via additive manufacturing (AM) and rapid qualification. Prior to joining ASTRO, Jared was a Principal Engineer in the Advanced Research and Development division of 3D Systems. While at 3D Systems, Jared led and managed multiple government-funded projects, including corrosion of AM alloys, marine alloy development, exotic and refractory alloy process development (e.g. Mo, Ru, Pt), polymer derived SiC, process monitoring, rapid qualification, and large format printing of inlet cowls and heat sinks. Jared received his PhD, MS, and BS in materials science and engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.

We asked Jared some questions that we thought would help our readers get to know him a bit better than just reading his bio.

Is there any experience – personal or professional – that stands out as being especially impactful with respect to the work that you do today?

In my previous position, my team and I thoroughly modified a metal printer with advanced sensors and controls. I enjoyed the moments where an experiment came together and a customer or research partner gained unique, one-of-a-kind value with our expertise and equipment. I’d like to make new moments like those at ASTRO.

In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge manufacturing public/private partnerships face today?

The biggest challenge that manufacturing public/private partnerships faces is transitioning innovation from universities and small businesses to tier 1 and tier 2 government suppliers. Most of the suppliers have embraced AM technology, but there are many ancillary technologies that could drive increased productivity but are stuck in the transition.

What do you see as the most innovative AM technology currently in use today?

I see metal powder bed fusion as the most innovative AM technology currently in use today. While the technology is the most mature and in widespread use, I expect major leaps in size and speed in the next 3 to 5 years. These productivity improvements will require hardware and software innovation.

Where do you see the AM industry in 10 years or even 50 years?

Over the next 10 years, I see the AM industry moving towards larger and faster printers and increasingly more digital workflows. We’re seeing larger and faster printers with the large friction stir systems and the powder bed printers with more than a dozen lasers. The new digital workflows (e.g. path plan optimization, full feedback control) will be proven out by small innovative businesses before widespread adoption occurs.

ICYMI: ASTRO Participates in NCMS’s Technology Showcase at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard

ASTRO joined dozens of companies, including Siemens, IBM, Laser Photonics, and more in Honolulu, Hawaii January 16-18 for the first NCMS Technology Showcase of 2024. Neal Orringer and Jason Gorey presented the Jointless Hull project, a prime example of the additive manufacturing work ASTRO is leading in the defense manufacturing industry out of Rock Island Arsenal.

Due to Pearl Harbor’s remote location, key decision-makers and personnel do not have many travel opportunities to see the latest M&S technologies that are critical to the PHNS & IMF mission. The event provided a key opportunity for shipyard personnel to evaluate new products and services – like additive manufacturing – and provide firsthand experience of their technology needs and challenges.

Read more about the event here.

ASTRO Releases New Reports… and Launches a New Webpage!

ASTRO America’s Think Tank and Research Institute conduct research, assessment, and evaluations on a variety of topics of interest to key segments of the defense industrial base.

In just the last few months, we’ve released the following:

  • A AM Supplier Qualification and Sourcing Report and Guide – developed for Wichita State University, National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) to bridge the gap between experienced large companies doing AM and the small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) interested in AM, so that our nation can meet impending manufacturing demands.
  • ASTRO’s 2023 Annual Report – developed to keep our stakeholders informed on the work that we are doing.

To make these accessible to our partners and friends, we’ve launched a new section of the website which provides links to our published papers, research, and reports. We will continue to update this page as we release new works and hope this will serve as a resource to you. Please feel free to share.

ASTRO’s Emma Gallegos Mentors Students in STEM

We love highlighting the cool things our team is doing to help the next generation grow, learn, and lead in science and technology.

Emma Gallegos, a key member of our Rock Island staff, has been mentoring young students – specifically, young women and minorities – through two programs: NALA(STEM), the National Alliance Leading the Acceleration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, which aims to unite, support, and build community among all historically excluded peoples in STEM; and WiSE, Iowa State University’s Program for Women in Science and Engineering.

Because of her leadership and strong job experience, Emma was recently asked to participate in a virtual career panel for the University of Michigan’s “the MEZ,” which connects professional engineers, University of Michigan engineering students, and other volunteers with students from Detroit-area schools to create a community of learning.

Emma spoke to students about her experience about Design & Additive Manufacturing. She specifically spoke about her role in the Jointless Hull project.

Way to go, Emma!

Coming Up 


  • ASTRO / Army GVSC OTA Project Order 2 University Day (April 25-26, Blacksburg VA)
  • Ash Carter Exchange on Innovation and National Security (May 7-8, Washington DC)
  • AMGTA Annual Member Summit (June 24 Los Angeles)
  • RAPID+TCT (June 25-27 Los Angeles)