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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cool Tech Earns Draper Engineer NAE Honor

Gregory M. Fritz recognized by National Academy of Engineering 

CAMBRIDGE, MA – As 3D printers begin to churn out parts for cars, optics and smartphones, and everything from toasters to clothing gets its own Internet connection, the technology that’s making many of these advances possible is occurring at the micro level. Such vanishingly small technologies are starting to disrupt entire industries and business models, and putting the spotlight on the engineers bringing them to life. 

In this spirit, the National Academy of Engineering will recognize the contributions of a select group of young engineers behind many of the latest advances in a variety of fields at its 23rd annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (USFOE) symposium. Gregory M. Fritz, a Materials Scientist at Draper, will be recognized for his contributions to advancing the frontiers of electronic integration, including in 3D printed electronics. Fritz’s work in nanostructured composite materials will enable the rapid production of 3D objects that cannot be produced otherwise, and his advances in printed electronics will enable customers to add proprietary technology to commercial parts—a practice known as “COTS Plus.”

According to the NAE statement, “the Frontiers of Engineering program brings together a particularly talented group of young engineers whose early-careers span different technical areas, perspectives and experiences,” said NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr. “But when they come together in this program, their mutual excitement is palpable, and a process of creating long-term benefits to society is often initiated.”

The Symposium recognizes a select group of 82 engineers ages 30 to 45 who are performing exceptional engineering research and technical work in a variety of disciplines. The participants—from industry, academia and government—were nominated by leaders who are NAE members, leaders in government labs, CTOs and professors.  

The 2017 USFOE will be hosted by United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, Conn., September 25-27, and will cover cutting-edge developments in four areas: Mega-Tall Buildings and Other Future Places of Work, Unraveling the Complexity of the Brain, Energy Strategies to Power Our Future, and Machines That Teach Themselves.

Fritz received his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and joined IBM to work at its flagship Thomas J. Watson Research Center, where he led programs in microelectronics technologies for IBM and the Department of Defense. Since joining Draper, Fritz has contributed to several major customer efforts and now leads one of the company’s internal research and development projects focused on improving the performance and reliability of 3D Printed Electronics.

A material scientist at Draper, Gregory M. Fritz has advanced the field of 3D printing with innovations such as nanometer inks and printable electronics, earning him an invitation to join the Frontiers of Engineering Symposium held annually by the National Academy of Engineering.
Capabilities Used
Precision Instrumentation

Draper develops precision instrumentation systems that exceed the state-of-the-art in key parameters (input range, accuracy, stability, bandwidth, ruggedness, etc.) that are designed specifically to operate in our sponsor’s most challenging environments (high shock, high temperature, radiation, etc.).  As a recognized leader in the development and application of precision instrumentation solutions for platforms ranging from missiles to people to micro-Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Draper finds or develops state-of-the-art components (gyros, accelerometers, magnetometers, precision clocks, optical systems, etc.) that meet the demanding size, weight, power and cost needs of our sponsors and applies extensive system design capabilities consisting of modeling, mechanical and electrical design, packaging and development-level testing to realize instrumentation solutions that meet these critical and demanding needs.


Draper has designed and developed microelectronic components and systems going back to the mid-1980s. Our integrated, ultra-high density (iUHD) modules of heterogeneous components feature system functionality in the smallest form factor possible through integration of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology with Draper-developed custom packaging and interconnect technology. Draper continues to pioneer custom Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS), Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and custom radio frequency components for both commercial (microfluidic platforms organ assist, drug development, etc.) and government (miniaturized data collection, new sensors, Micro-sats, etc.) applications.  Draper features a complete in-house iUHD and MEMS fabrication capability and has existing relationships with many other MEMS and microelectronics fabrication facilities. 

Materials Engineering & Microfabrication

Draper continues to develop its expertise in designing, characterizing and processing materials at the macro-, micro- and nanoscales. Understanding the physical properties and behaviors of materials at these various scales is vital to exploit them successfully in designing components or systems. This enables the development and integration of biomaterials, 3D printing and additive manufacturing, wafer fabrication, chemical and electrochemical materials and structural materials for application to system-level solutions required of government and commercial sponsors.

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