Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute


We are pleased to announce that the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute (AMRI) will again be hosted by the Department of Bioengineering at Rice University for Summer 2014 Fellowships.

AMRI is dedicated to fostering collaboration between the open source Maker community, the DIY Bio community, and the scientific research communities. Fellows at AMRI use their familiarity with open source technology to develop tools used for forwarding scientific research. Mentors at AMRI use their background in scientific research to suggest strategies for overcoming engineering challenges encountered in development of open source technology. The goal is to use this collaboration to improve the general public's accessibility to science and engineering as a whole.

Check out what we did last year, click here!

For Summer 2014 we have an open call for applications in the following areas:

Project 1: e-NABLE 3D Printed Prosthetic Devices

In collaboration with the worldwide e-NABLE group, and Gloria Gogola, M.D. at Shriners Hospital for Children, Fellows will aid in the design, 3D printing, testing, and refinement of open-source prosthetic hand and finger designs. This unique fellowship will bring 3D printing into the clinical setting, working closely with Dr. Gogola and her patients in need.

Project 2: Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Fellows will augment and refine the open SLS design pioneered by Andreas Bastian last year. SLS machines typically cost $50k or more, we built ours for under $15k. This year we will focus on powder manufacturing and powder handling, as well as characterization of SLS parts via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and mechanical testing. Andreas' 2013 AMRI Presentation is available here.

Project 3: OLED 3D Photolithography of Living Tissues

Related to Anderson Ta’s exciting digital light projection (DLP) photolithography last year, Fellows will investigate and program organic light emitting diode (OLED) screens as a light source for 3D photolithographic printing of living tissues. Chemical functionalization of glass surfaces will also be investigated to passivate the screen surface and aid in detachment and 3D printing from the light source surface.Andy's 2013 AMRI Presentation is available here.

Project 4: Open Source Ink Jet Printing of Bacteria

A continuation of Steve Kelly's inkshield augmentation of RepRap motherboards to print living bacteria, Fellows will investigate fluid mechanics, python scripting, and multicolor printing to create interacting bacterial colonies on top of and within agar gels. Fellows will also learn how to insert genes of interest into bacterial colonies for protein production. Steve's 2013 AMRI Presentation is available here.

Fellowship Scope

Selected Fellows will follow the AMRI workflow developed last year:

Define, Design, and Develop: accurately elaborate the design criteria, assess different designs that fit within budget constraints, and develop a plan of attack to make the equipment or materials

Quantify and Qualify: What are the equipment specifications? Under what conditions can it operate? With what materials? What are the relevant tolerances that can be expected? Next -- measure them. Were they accurately predicted? How closely did they match up? Are we still on budget target? A redesign may be required depending on how far out of specification the equipment has become.

Document and Deploy: documentation for that equipment and sufficient details and instruction for others to deploy or repurpose the equipment completely independent. Documentation and deployment will be key components throughout all of AMRI

Details and Eligibility

AMRI 2014 Fellowships will run from June 15th – August 31st, 2014 (2.5 months).

AMRI is primarily focused on fostering individuals from the Maker community and educating them in scientific inquiry. You need not have prior scientific experience to apply.

Applicants should be 18 years of age or older and should have finished high school by the time the fellowship will start. Exemptions may be granted in rare cases.

Fellows will receive a $5,000 stipend (taxable) to help defray living expenses for their time in Houston, TX. The Fellowship is currently limited to people legally allowed to work in the United States (e.g. US Citizens, F-1 VISA). Proof of ability to work in the US will be required by Rice University before the stipend can be disbursed.

Fellows should have demonstrable familiarity with RepRap, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBoard, or other related open source technologies that can and will be utilized for the 2014 Fellowships.

Selected Fellows will work in Houston, TX with Jordan Miller, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and AMRI Director. Fellows will work in the Microphysiological Systems Engineering and Advanced Materials Laboratory at the BioScience Research Collaborative of Rice University. This world-class facility has the tools, the people, the infrastructure, and the location to provide Fellows with everything they need to be successful this summer.

You will have a modest supplies budget provided by Dr. Miller’s Lab to make sure you have what you need to achieve your goals.

How To Apply

Your application must include:

1) Statement of Research Interests. Write up to 750 words describing:

a) very brief summary of previous work with open-source projects, with relevant links where applicable

b) Of the projects described above, describe in detail which project you would like to work on. What drew you to this project, and what would you like to accomplish this summer? What support would you need (in terms of supplies) to achieve your goals? How do these plans fit into the AMRI workflow and scope described in detail above?

c) Include your perspective on the open-source community. What are its strengths, and what do you see as its current challenges?  Feel free to give specific examples.

d) You may include figures, diagrams, and references, which are not counted in this 750-word limit.

2) Your CV or Resume (this section is limited to 3 pages)

3) Names and contact information for three references: people who can attest to your skills, work ethic, and interpersonal abilities

AMRI is committed to the principle of equal opportunity, and it is our aim to attract qualified individuals of diverse backgrounds for this unique summer Fellowship.

Send your application as a PDF attachment in one email to by May 15th, 11:59 pm CT. Only one application per person, please.


Donate HERE!

We are actively soliciting formal sponsorship to cover the cost of these fellowships. If you are interested in helping, please contact Jordan Miller for additional details. Sponsorship of AMRI is IRS tax-deductible because donations come through Rice University, a 501c(3) non-profit educational institution. Rice sends official tax-deductible paperwork by snail-mail to the address entered into the donation form. We appreciate your help; we can’t do this program without you!


Open call for Applications for AMRI 2014 Summer Fellowships