Buzzelli’s research addressing affordable housing shortage through additive manufacturing presented to top national laboratories
Angelina Buzzelli, a University of Maine MBA student and Graduate Assistant at the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, is contributing research at the national level to address the shortage of affordable housing in the U.S. through innovative 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, technology. Buzzelli recently shared her research with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy at their request. The opportunity for Buzzelli to contribute her research at the national level was made possible from the multi-year research collaboration between UMaine, led by the Composites Center, and Oak Ridge National Lab.
“Angelina’s work is covering a major area of research for us in how the challenges in obtaining affordable housing in areas like Maine and across the country can be alleviated through additive manufacturing using materials that are durable, sustainable, and cost-effective,” says Dr. Habib Dagher, executive director, Advanced Structures and Composites Center. “The partnership between Oak Ridge and the ASCC is providing great opportunities for interdisciplinary learning experiences across various UMaine programs, like the Maine Business School.”
Buzzelli’s research focus at the Center is the affordable housing market. “I knew that working at the Center would greatly broaden my horizons and give me a seat at the table with brilliant minds that are using their research efforts to better the world around us,” Buzzelli says. She has been investigating what factors play into limited supply capabilities and if additive manufacturing can solve the problems within supply and demand. “There is significant potential for 3D printers in the housing industry that remains widely untapped. Knowing my research could result in many households gaining access to a stable living situation that is more affordable, sustainable, and efficient than what was ever available to them before is extremely exciting.”
Dr. Susan MacKay, a Senior R&D Program Manager for the partnership between ASCC and ORNL, explains that forming an interdisciplinary team that includes business students working alongside scientists and engineers could facilitate commercialization of technologies that the ASCC is developing. “Angelina was part of the team tasked with researching and developing the business case for large area additive manufacturing applied to the residential sector,” Dr. MacKay says.
MBS Executive Dean Dr. Faye Gilbert and Associate Dean Dr. Jason Harkins work together to place Angelina with the ASCC for her graduate assistantship and to extend the appointment for the remainder of her program. “Angelina brought her business acumen with a team-oriented approach to contribute to the ASCC,” Dr. Gilbert says. “Her skills and desire to give back to others are a great match for the challenges facing this market at this time. We are grateful for the partnership with the ASCC and hope to continue to enhance these connections in the future.”
Buzzelli’s final draft of her paper titled, “The Climate of Affordable Housing: An Analysis of Industry Pain Points and the Future Role of Additive Manufacturing” may be submitted for publication consideration within the coming months. Buzzelli earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Marketing and Management with a concentration in Business Information Systems from the Maine Business School in 2020. She then joined the Graduate School of Business’ Accelerated Pathways program for undergraduates. After she earns her MBA in December 2021, she plans to continue her research at the Composites Center as she pursues her dream of professional acting.
Originally from New Jersey, Buzzelli’s family relocated to Charleston, Maine when she was eight years old. She originally chose to attend UMaine because of its financial value. “Five years and almost two degrees later, the University of Maine has provided me with countless incredible opportunities that have truly enabled me to be successful while pursuing my creative passions,” she says.