Research Group

Ben Haley

Lead Network Engineer

bhaley @

Ph.D. Engineering Physics/Applied Physics, University of California, Davis (2005)
B.S. Physics, Purdue University (1998)

I am the Lead Network Engineer of the IN-MaC project at Purdue.  I develop the Technical Cost Modeling (TCM) software tools used in the Mansson research group.  I also work on digital integration of TCM and Industry 4.0 software tools for the analysis of manufacturing data produced in the IN-MaC Digital Manufacturing Testbed.

I previously worked as a senior software engineer in Research Computing at Purdue, developing scientific simulation software and middleware tools for nanoHUB. Most of my career has been spent at universities, but I spent two years in industry, at Cummins Engine Co. in Indiana and Intel Corp. in California. I received a BSc in physics from Purdue, followed by a MSc and Ph.D. in applied physics from the University of California, Davis.

Jessica Lavorata

PhD Candidate, Materials Engineering

jlavorat @

B.S. Composite Materials Engineering, Winona State University (2018)

I began pursuing a PhD in Materials Engineering under Dr. Jan-Anders Mansson in August 2018. My research focuses on the high-rate manufacturing of multifunctional thermoplastic composite rods (M-TOW) which can be deformed via a die-less multi-axis forming machine. This includes manipulating process parameters to acquire an ideal processing window that relies on temperature, line speed, and braid pressure. The goal of the work is to manufacture a preform with a constant cylindrical cross-section that can act as a transfer medium for various components such as air tubing, sensors, or electrical wires, in addition to having the ability to be overmolded for advanced light-weight applications. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the outdoors through camping, hiking, paddling, and rock climbing.

Teal Dowd

PhD Candidate, Materials Engineering

dowdt @

B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University (2018)

Teal Dowd is a Materials Engineering Ph.D. student at Purdue University. His research focuses on new methods of selective laser sintering leveraged to combine continuous fiber within a polymer matrix. With a love of getting his hands “dirty”, this hands on project is combining mechatronics, electrical, computer, and materials engineering into a single project. Dowd received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue in 2018, and transitioned directly into a Ph.D. program working with Dr. Mansson in the MD Lab. When he is not in the lab tinkering, Dowd enjoys adventuring in the outdoors including rock climbing, and DIY home improvement projects.

Morgan Chamberlain

PhD Candidate, Materials Engineering

chamb111 @

B.S. Physics, Linfield University (2020)

B.S. Mathematics, Linfield University (2020)

Morgan is a third year PhD Candidate in Materials Engineering. An Oregon native, Morgan graduated from Linfield University in 2020 with two Bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Mathematics. She also competed as a javelin thrower for the track & field team while at Linfield. Morgan’s research centers around the reliability of recycled carbon fiber reinforced composites for new sports engineering and automotive applications. She is also the current Vice President of Purdue’s Materials Engineering Graduate Student Association (MSEGSA). In her free time, Morgan enjoys power lifting, reading, painting, and hiking through the Pacific Northwest.

Nicole Balog

PhD Student, Materials Engineering

nbalog @

B.S. Materials Engineering, Purdue University (2022)

Nicole joined the MD lab in August 2022 as a PhD student in Materials Engineering, the same department she received her Bachelor’s degree from. Her work focuses on the joining of carbon fiber reinforced composite materials to various grades of aluminum alloys without the use of adhesives. Eventually this work will include the use of recycled composite materials to find a second life application of materials destined for landfills. Nicole likes to spend her free time running, embroidering, and skiing anywhere that isn’t in the Midwest.

Daniel Castro

PhD Student, Computer Science


B.S. Statistics, National University of Colombia (2022)

Daniel is a Computer Science PhD student with a background in Statistics from the National University of Colombia, where he graduated in November 2022. His passion for sports, both as a spectator and a participant, led him to focus on Sports Analytics. His current research centers on developing predictive tools for soccer, using computational methods to manage athlete’s time and space on the field. Daniel gained valuable experience in this field, as an intern in the Data & Analytics department of the International Olympic Committee. In his free time, Daniel enjoys sports, indulging his love for movies, and exploring new destinations, all while being a dedicated cat person.