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Charles Brandon Sweeney

Charles Brandon Sweeney

Graduate Student, Texas Tech University, Department of Chemical Engineering
Brandon Sweeney has the future on his mind in more ways than one.

The graduate student in Chemical Engineering saw TEDxTexasTechUniversity as a good way to reach a wide audience for a variety of reasons.

“I had seen TED Talks before,” he said of the program, “and it seems the audience they can reach is very wide.”

On one side, Sweeney said he saw the chance to give his first TED Talk as an excellent way to network and advance in his work.

“I’d like to make as many contacts as possible and meet as many people as possible who are interested in what interests me,” he said of the event. “And it could potentially push my research further.”

And it’s his enthusiasm about the research he will talk about that won him a coveted speaker’s slot. Sweeney is part of a project working with 3-D printing and a proprietary new technique that increases the strength of materials used in the process to decrease that limitation in some 3-D-printed products.

“I want to expose them to 3-D printing,” he said of his TED talk, “and explain why it’s so exciting and where it’s going to impact their lives.”

That impact will be huge, according to Sweeney, who called 3-D printing the next Industrial Revolution because of its ability to provide on-demand production of virtually anything.

“We will be able to get what they need when we need it, and it will be fully customizable to our needs,” he said, describing the process someday of downloading a file from the Internet, plugging it into the printer and creating the product.

“It’s going to change consumerism,” he said. “Each household could be a factory. Each business could be a factory.”

Watch his TEDxTalk.