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College of Engineering and Computing

Faculty and Staff

Wout De Backer

Title: Research Assistant Professor
Department: Mechanical Engineering; McNair Aerospace Center
College of Engineering and Computing
Email: wdbacker@cec.sc.edu
Phone: 803-629-4498
Office: Thermoplastics 3D Printing Laboratory
SmartState Center for Multi-functional Materials & Structures
McNair Aerospace Center, Ste. 150
1000 Catawba St.
Columbia SC 29201
LinkedIn: My LinkedIn profile
Resources: Wout De Backer's CV

Background

Dr. Wout De Backer is a researcher assistant professor at the University of South Carolina. During his post-doctoral research, he was Program Manager for the Robotic Additive Manufacturing team at the McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research. Dr. De Backer is a peer reviewer for the Computer Aided Design and Applications Journal (CAD&A) and currently has several pending patents. In 2016, he was awarded as one of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Aviation Week’s 20 Twenties, as he was recognized as one of tomorrow’s aerospace leaders for his contributions to the aerospace field, scientific research and the broader community. Dr. De Backer is an active professional member of AIAA, world’s largest aerospace technical society, and is currently the Region II Carolina section vice chair for the Columbia, SC area. In 2014, Wout co-founded the University of South Carolinas local section of AIAA, of which he is currently still faculty advisor.

Prior to his work at USC, Wout graduated from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands with a Bachelors and Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering. The focus of his studies during his Master’s degree was in composite structural design and aircraft design, during which he also spent a semester at the University of Kansas in 2012.

Education

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina, 2017
  • M.S., Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2013
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2011

Research Overview

Dr. De Backer’s research interest include continuous fiber thermoplastic additive manufacturing (FFF, 3D printing), structural design of thermoplastic composites and aircraft design.

The core focus of the 3D printing team lead by Dr. De Backer at the University of South Carolina is on multi-axis 3D printing with continuous fiber and engineering thermoplastic matrix. The team therefore has extensive background in 3D printer design, automation, and composite design and analysis, and uses both off-the-shelf and in-house developed FDM/FFF style printers. Our current staff of researchers, is focused in the field of Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) Additive Manufacturing. The team also has experience in manufacturing engineering thermoplastic filament/feedstock for 3D printers within the required tolerances, using in-house developed pellet extrusion and tow pultrusion systems. Through our group's industry contracts, the researchers have close relationships with companies that directly use or implement the developments brought by the research.

Awards, Appointments and Recognitions

  • 20 Twenties Award, 2016: Recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Aviation Week’s as one of tomorrow’s aerospace leaders for his contributions to the aerospace field, scientific research and the broader community.
  • Faculty advisor and Founding Father of the UofSC Student section for the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), 2014 - Present
  • Part of the SmartState Center™ for Multifunctional Materials and Structures, Dr. De Backer’s 3D printing lab is recognized as Center of Economic Excellence, as established by South Carolina’s senior research universities

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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