Workshops for Warriors (WFW), a nonprofit school providing Veterans free training and nationally recognized industry credentials in CAD/CAM programming, CNC machining and welding, announced it received a $50,000 grant from Boeing.

The grant is crucial in allowing Workshops for Warriors to support workforce development by providing quality training, accredited STEM educational programs and opportunities to earn third-party nationally recognized credentials.

“Boeing is not only the leader in the Aviation and Aerospace, but they are big supporters of programs like ours that enhance STEM, workforce training, and educational and career pathway opportunities for Veterans,” said Hernàn Luis y Prado, founder of Workshop for Warriors. “More than 2.3 million advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S. are unfilled. Over the next decade nearly 2.7 million baby boomers will retire from this field. We’re working diligently to address this need by providing skilled workers for the region's most in demand jobs. Our graduates are being trained to work at powerhouses like Boeing. We are very appreciative and honored that they are supporting our mission by providing us with these much needed funds.”

Founded in 2008, the organization offers classes in CNC machining, CAD/CAM programming and welding. Between 2011 and 2015, Workshops for Warriors trained more than 200 veterans and wounded warriors. Graduates obtained jobs in advanced manufacturing after completing their programs. The school is working to solve two systemic economic issues: rebuild the U.S. manufacturing industry’s talent pool and offer transitioning service members, wounded, ill or injured, and veterans, the opportunity to obtain the training necessary to successfully transition into a civilian career.

“As Boeing celebrates its centennial year in 2016, we take great pride in our rich heritage and aerospace legacy,” said Richard Annett, vice president, Logistics Products and Services at Tapestry Solutions, a subsidiary of The Boeing Company. “We are also proud of our long-standing commitment to supporting men and women in uniform and military families by employing more than 20,000 veterans who are continuing their mission with Boeing, as well as advocacy and support of a variety of military and veteran-specific programs like Workshops for Warriors.”

Published in Workshops for Warriors

Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies (PADT), announced its project proposal titled “A Non-Empirical Predictive Model for Additively Manufactured Lattice Structures,” has been accepted as part of a multi-million dollar grant from the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, America Makes. PADT’s proposal was one of only seven selected, and one of only two where the leading organization was a small business.

To complete the deliverables, Arizona State University (ASU), Honeywell Aerospace and LAI International are assisting PADT in technical research with contributions from Prof. Howard Kuhn, a Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and a leading educator in Additive Manufacturing, for workforce and educational outreach.

“While there are several efforts ongoing in developing design and optimization software for lattice structures in additive manufacturing, there has been little progress in developing a robust, validated material model that accurately describes how these structures behave,” said Dhruv Bhate, PhD, senior technologist, PADT and author and principal investigator of the proposal. “We are honored to be chosen to research this important issue and provide the tools to enable entrepreneurs, manufacturers and makers to integrate lattice structures in their designs.”

One of the most definitive benefits of additive manufacturing is the ability to reduce weight while maintaining mechanical performance. A way to achieve this is by adding lattice structures to parts before manufacturing. The advantages are crucial and can result in increased design flexibility, lower material costs and significant reductions in production time for industries such as aerospace and automotive.

Another aspect of PADT’s winning proposal is the development of a first-of-a-kind online, collaborative living textbook on Additive Manufacturing that seeks to provide comprehensive, up-to-date and structured information in a field where over 50 papers are published worldwide every day. In addition, the team will develop a training class that addresses manufacturing, testing, theory and simulation as well as how they are combined together to deliver robust predictions of lattice behavior.

“We have identified Additive Manufacturing as a key lever of innovation in our company and recognize lattice structures as an important design capability to reduce mass, improve performance and reduce costs,” said Suraj Rawal, Technical Fellow, Advanced Technology Center at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company – a leader in implementing Additive Manufacturing. “We also recognize the significance of this work in lattice behavior modeling and prediction as an important contribution to help implement the design, manufacturing, and performance validation of structures in our innovative designs.”

The award of this grant is another example of the leadership role that Arizona is playing in advancing the practical application of Additive Manufacturing, better known as 3D Printing. PADT’s leadership role in the Arizona Technology Council’s Arizona Additive Manufacturing Committee, support of basic research in the area at ASU, and involvement with educating the next generation of users underscores PADT’s contribution to this effort and furthers the company’s commitment to “Make Innovation Work.”

Published in PADT

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS collaboration, announced the release of its first 2016 Project Call addressing two of the three DMDII Technology Thrusts: Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise (AME) and Intelligent Machines (IM).

The title and goal of each Project Call Topic are listed below:

Analytical Solutions for Lifecycle Feedback (AME)
The goal of this Project Call Topic is to reduce total lifecycle costs of complex systems by collecting data from different parts of the product lifecycle, allowing data to flow across the product lifecycle and to use this information to improve decision-making.

Industrial Internet of Things Retrofit Kit for Legacy Manufacturing (IM)
This Project Call Topic aims to develop an affordable means to retrofit legacy production systems with a wide array of sensors, and to provide the capability to securely and rapidly collect, store, and transmit the data, enabling participation in the digital enterprise.

To convey additional information to interested stakeholders, DMDII will host a Project Call Workshop at the UI LABS Innovation Center on March 29, 2016. Workshop attendees will hear from the DMDII leadership team about its mission, vision, and goals, as well as how to do business with the Institute. Attendees also will have the opportunity to network throughout the course of the workshop to enable teaming for responses to the Project Call Topics. To facilitate the formation of project teams, DMDII encourages manufacturing businesses, manufacturing services providers, technology companies (hardware and software), and academic institutions to register their capabilities and interests on an online survey in advance.

DMDII plans to issue additional Project Calls over the next several months, covering the Technology Thrusts mentioned above as well as Advanced Analysis (AA). Upcoming project topics will include Low-Cost Robotics and Automation (IM), Real-Time Optimization of Factory Operations (AME), Seamless Work Flows from Design to Fabrication (AA), and Human Systems Integration (AA). Specific dates for these releases will be announced separately.

For more information, visit: dmdii.uilabs.org/events/spring-workshop

Published in DMDII

Applications are now being accepted for the international ABB Research Award in Honor of Hubertus von Gruenberg. A call for applications to be submitted by January 31, 2016 has been issued to postgraduates in the fields of power and automation at universities or research institutions. The award carries a US$ 300,000 personal research grant.

With the grant money, ABB intends to provide the recipient with an opportunity to continue conducting advanced research in the chosen field, culminating in innovative results being presented to the international scientific and business communities. The award will be presented in mid-2016 at a gala awards ceremony in Switzerland.

“I’m looking forward to seeing a large number of applications,” said Ulrich Spiesshofer, chief executive officer of the ABB Group. “At ABB, we want to facilitate the ability of young scientists to pursue their research and innovate in the fields of power and automation and, in doing so, give them a chance to enhance the performance of technologies used in the power, industry, transportation, and infrastructure sectors to improve productivity and reduce environmental impact.”

To be considered for the award, applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from their doctoral advisor in addition to their particulars including academic department, topic of the dissertation, an executive summary in English, and a brief description of the planned research project that the personal grant will be used to complete.

Outstanding dissertations in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, electronics, industrial software, artificial intelligence, robotics, process automation, or related disciplines which have been approved in the past three years — between 2013 and 2015 — can be submitted. Work in the fields mentioned above dealing with topics relevant to the utilities, industry, transportation, and infrastructure sectors will have good prospects for winning the award. ABB also values research that paves the way for pioneering industrial solutions through the creative use of software, electronics, or new materials.

A high-caliber international jury will select the best application. In addition to the fulfillment of all scientific and formal quality standards, the following criteria will inform the jury’s decision: potential for innovation, specific practical application, benefit to the environment and society, and a compelling presentation of the results.

ABB established the research award at the beginning of this year in honor of recent chairman of the Board of Directors Hubertus von Gruenberg. The grant will be awarded for the first time in 2016 and once every three years thereafter. Physicist Dr. Hubertus von Gruenberg has inspired the research award named after him by embodying the values it represents — dedication to science and commerce, a passion for research, business acumen, and the firm belief that innovation forms the foundation upon which sustainable growth and successful enterprises are built.

For more information, visit: new.abb.com/hvg-award

Published in ABB

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS collaboration established in 2014, announced today that it has issued its first five national contract research awards. The contracts are valued at more than $7 million, include 14 DMDII partners from across the United States, and will fund research aimed at advancing the field of digital manufacturing and design. Over the next three years, DMDII anticipates having a portfolio of sponsored research projects, spread out over dozens of project call topics and hundreds of institute members.

Five prime contractors from five states have received awards. Prime contractors include Green Dynamics Inc. in California, STEP Tools, Inc. in New York, Product Development & Analysis (PDA) LLC in Illinois, the Design Automation Lab of Arizona State University, and Oregon State University. Each prime contractor has assembled a team of subprime contractors, ranging from major U.S. manufacturers, small- and medium-sized businesses, software development firms, and academic institutions. Of the 14 contracted parties, three are large companies, four are small and medium manufacturers, five are universities and two are non-governmental organizations.

The five awards include the first of several contracts in DMDII’s strategic investment plan and technology roadmap. The industry-driven technology roadmap is aligned with the Department of Defense’s strategic manufacturing base goals and aims to create a technology platform across all manufacturing processes, focusing on three key areas of technology research and demonstration: Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise, Intelligent Machining and Advanced Analysis.

“These contract awards represent a huge milestone for DMDII,” said Dr. Dean Bartles, the Chief Manufacturing Officer at UI LABS and Executive Director of DMDII. “After developing an infrastructure that fosters collaboration and innovation, we’re now launching our first research projects that promise to make American manufacturers more competitive and improve their bottom line. Along with our cooperative partners at the Department of Defense, we’re excited to continue the forward momentum, and we’re looking forward to sponsoring new projects and announcing more contracts in the future.”

“These awards highlight that our collaborative innovation model is working,” said Dr. Caralynn Nowinski Collens, CEO of UI LABS. “We see a bright future for industry-led consortia to solve large-scale societal challenges to close the gap between innovation and commercialization.”

The awards will sponsor research projects to develop software, tools and industry-changing solutions aimed at lowering production costs by increasing the speed and efficiency of a variety of manufacturing processes. Four of the five awards are funded by the U.S. Defense Department’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

“The work performed through DMDII’s first contract awards will allow us to mitigate the big issues of interoperability and manual systems that will lead to saving defense and domestic manufacturers significant resources currently lost to time and cost overruns,” said Dr. Greg Harris, DMDII’s Program Manager through the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center.

“We are developing a ‘digital thread’ across all facets of the manufacturing process,” said George Barnych, DMDII’s Director of Research & Development Programs. “The first five awards begin to develop key technologies that will allow us to ‘stitch together’ the digital thread from the front end of design all the way through the production process and supply logistics.” Barnych continued, “This is a major step in bringing together the best and the brightest from the private, public and academic sectors to reshape the landscape of manufacturing in our country.”

DMDII’s first five contract awards are as follows:

Structural Composites – Blade Multidisciplinary Design and Analysis - 14-01-06
Lead Organization: Green Dynamics Inc.
Other Organizations on this Team: MetaMorph Inc.; University of Delaware; Vanderbilt University; PTC, Inc.; MSC Software Corporation; Pennsylvania State University, Applied Research Laboratory

Partners will work together to integrate a suite of analysis tools under a common intuitive user interface specifically focused on wind turbines. Successful implementation of this software approach will reduce barriers to entry for smaller composite material developers and shorten cycle times for current manufacturers—all while providing a comprehensive cost and manufacturing model to prevent overruns.

Mind the Gap - Filling the Gap between CAD and CNC with Engineering Services - 14-02-02
Lead Organization: STEP Tools, Inc.
Other Organizations on this Team: Pennsylvania State University, Applied Research Laboratory; Vanderbilt University

The Mind the Gap project aims to develop and deliver cloud services to optimize and monitor computer numerical controlled (CNC) machining. The new services will operate on 3D digital models, which are easier to share and modify than traditional code-based models.

Automated Assembly Planning: From CAD model to Virtual Assembly Process - 14-02-04
Lead Organization: Oregon State University
Other Organizations on this Team: ESI North America

This project aims to develop a computational tool to automatically transform a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) assembly into a set of assembly instructions with as little initial user commitment as possible. Quick predictions of an assembly plan will provide feedback to both design and industrial engineers so that they can see how their decisions impact assembly time and cost. For manufacturing companies that choose to use the developed toolset, it could result in millions of dollars in savings.

Automatic Tolerancing of Mechanical Assemblies from STEP AP203: Completion of Adaptive Vehicle Make Tasks - 14-02-05
Lead Organization: Design Automation Lab, Arizona State University

This project will investigate algorithms to automate tolerance allocation of mechanical assemblies. This will include 1st order Geometric Dimension & Tolerancing (GD&T), which is based solely on geometric assemblability, as well as partial support of 2nd order tolerancing, which is based on design intent or function of assemblies, including fit types and fasteners. This will result in lower product cost due to better tolerance control, lower scrap rate, and quicker product development time by reducing trial and error in tolerance allocation.

Intelligent Adaptive Machining Fixtures for Castings (IAMFixR) - 14-07-03
Lead Organization: Product Development & Analysis (PDA) LLC
Other Organizations on this Team: American Foundry Society; Design Automation Lab, Arizona State University; Steel Founders’ Society of America

A collaboration between a metal casting contract manufacturer and an academic research lab, the goal of this project is to develop a set of methods and a software enabler, called “IAMFixR,” to reduce the setup time for the machining of large castings and fabrications, and to virtually eliminate scrapping any of these high value parts. The team aims to incorporate the casting industry standard into a 3D model and use digital technology to capture the changing dimensions of features critical to machining operation for every part produced in a production environment.

The five applied research and demonstration projects will take between 12-18 months to complete.

For more information, visit: www.dmdii.org

Published in UI LABS

Women in Manufacturing (WiM) last night announced the receipt of a $100,000 grant from the GE Foundation. The grant was announced at the fifth annual WiM SUMMIT on Thursday, September 24, 2015 in front of a crowd of nearly 300 professional women in the manufacturing sector.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from the GE Foundation,” said Women in Manufacturing President Allison Grealis. “The growth of the manufacturing sector is vital to the American economy. As a result, this grant from the GE Foundation is truly an investment in women’s education and leadership and also in the strength of American manufacturing.”

WiM is the only national organization specifically dedicated to supporting women in the manufacturing sector with year-round programming and a national directory for women in the industry.

The GE Foundation grant will support important WiM initiatives including regional and national programming and, in particular, new continuing education opportunities for women in the manufacturing sector.

“This funding is critical for supporting our efforts to develop and deliver high impact educational opportunities for women in manufacturing,” said Grealis. “Many available programs for personal and career advancement are simply too expensive for women working in small and medium-sized manufacturing companies. But we know that these women – and these companies – could really benefit from enhanced and sector-specific skills development programs and leadership training. This grant will make all the difference in allowing WiM to provide effective and affordable educational opportunities to support the advancement of women in manufacturing.”

“This grant to Women in Manufacturing is part of our Developing Skills program,” said Kelli Wells, GE Foundation Executive Director, Education and Skills. “At the GE Foundation, we are striving to strengthen the economy by narrowing the gap between skills acquisition and the needs of the labor market. By partnering with organizations like WiM we are helping to support women and working to establish a leadership pipeline within manufacturing.”

Women in Manufacturing (WiM) is a more than 550-member-strong national organization dedicated to supporting, promoting and inspiring women who have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry. WiM encourages the engagement of women who want to share perspectives, gain cutting-edge manufacturing information, improve leadership and communication skills, participate in sponsoring programs and network with industry peers.

For more information, visit: www.womeninmanufacturing.org

Published in Women in Manufacturing

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.7 million grant to the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania to expand capacity at the TechVentures incubator. According to the grantee, this project will create 112 jobs, save 82 jobs, and generate more than $61 million in private investment.

“As America’s Innovation Agency, the Commerce Department works to create the conditions for our entrepreneurs, companies, and communities to thrive,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA investment announced today will cultivate innovation in Northeastern Pennsylvania, creating new opportunities for the region.”

EDA’s investment will help fund the construction of a 14,500 square foot expansion to the existing 47,000 square foot TechVentures facility, including additional office and meeting space to accommodate the growing demand of incubating entrepreneurs. According to the grantee, the expansion will enable enhanced regional competition and the creation and retention of high-value, sustainable, technology based-jobs and investment.

The Economic Development Administration marks 50 years of public service, leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

For more information, visit: nep.benfranklin.org/incubator-network/ben-franklin-techventures

Published in EDA

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) $4.9 million to expand its model apprenticeship program nationwide.

The National Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship Program at RCBI will broaden its existing innovative apprenticeships and promote advanced manufacturing pre-apprenticeships for underrepresented groups such as women, transitioning military personnel and disadvantaged youth. It will provide standardized, industry-endorsed, online instruction and on-the-job learning for companies in multiple states. The RCBI program will serve at least 1,000 apprentices and 415 pre-apprentices across the United States.

This effort will make apprenticeships more affordable to employers and more accessible to employees and individuals considering careers in manufacturing.

Through the five-year initiative, RCBI and its partners will deliver apprenticeship training nationwide in core advanced manufacturing areas such as manual and computer-controlled machining while they create new registered apprenticeships in additive manufacturing (better known as 3D Printing), composites and robotics. RCBI will continue to work with a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, robotics, defense and related industries.

“This award recognizes a unique approach to apprenticeship building in West Virginia – praised by the DOL – that has the potential to be replicated across the nation and to address the growing skills gap in manufacturing,” said Charlotte Weber, RCBI Director & CEO.

RCBI’s apprenticeship training model focuses on advanced manufacturing, enabling workers to earn a wage while improving their job skills. This collaborative model leverages the unique expertise and resources of multiple public and private entities from across the nation, including RCBI; Marshall University Research Corp.; the DOL; the National Institute for Metalworking Skills; ToolingU-SME; America Makes; General Electric, Aurora Flight Sciences, Swanson Industries and other private industry partners; workforce development agencies; career centers; and community and technical college partners. 

In the past five years, RCBI has trained more than 3,000 workers, many through apprenticeships.

RCBI and its partners established a model apprenticeship program at Mohawk Flooring in Holden, Mingo County, using standards approved by the U.S. Department of Labor/Office of Apprenticeship. Through this ongoing effort, Mohawk employees earn while they learn, improving their technical skills while working toward associate degrees.

“Congratulations to RCBI for securing this funding,” said Marshall University Interim President Gary White. “This is a tremendous opportunity for us to extend RCBI’s important services across the country, training hundreds of people for the high-tech jobs of the future.”

A national study reinforces the need for additional skilled manufacturing workers in the coming decade because of retiring Baby Boomers and anticipated growth in the sector.

To address this critical shortage, the U.S. Department of Labor pledged millions of dollars to expand registered apprenticeship programs in high-skilled, high-growth industries such as health care, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing. The American Apprenticeship Initiative is expected to serve as a catalyst to increase the use of apprenticeships to meet employer needs in these sectors.

“Training programs like the ones this grant will support at RCBI are a critical part of building the highly trained workforce we are working hard to create in West Virginia,” said Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. “Advanced manufacturing is growing exponentially across the country and in West Virginia, and I’m glad we will be able to provide more employers with people who have the skills required for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

Operating for more than 25 years as West Virginia’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, RCBI encourages job creation, economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting manufacturing technology. RCBI provides local access to leading-edge equipment, specialized training and business development assistance for everyone from sole proprietors to Fortune 500 companies so they can remain at the forefront of innovation in an increasingly global economy.

For more information, visit: www.rcbi.org

Published in RCBI

Two separate University of Pittsburgh research projects to improve design development for structures in in additive manufacturing were among nine contracts funded by America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The two projects, directed by faculty in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, will receive more than $1.7 million in America Makes' Project Call #3.

To date, Swanson School faculty have been awarded more than $2.3 million in contracts toward additive manufacturing research from America Makes, the National Science Foundation, and Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania.

Principal investigator for "Integrated Design Tool Development for High Potential AM Applications" is Albert To, PhD , associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, in conjunction with Aerotech, ANSYS, EOS of North America, ExOne, Honeywell, Marcus Machinery, Materials Sciences Corporation, RTI International Metals (Alcoa Titanium & Engineered Products), United Technologies Research Center, and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center. This $961,112 contract is in support of an extension of the research previously awarded to Dr. To by America Makes.

"AM technologies are capable of producing very complex geometries and topologies, tremendously expanding the limited design space allowed by traditional manufacturing methods. However, existing CAD/CAE software packages to date have not taken full advantage of this enormous design freedom," Dr. To explained. "We plan to create an integrated design suite that can be rapidly commercialized, thereby helping industry minimize design time, lower manufacturing cost, and reduce time to market for new AM product development."

M. Ravi Shankar, PhD, associate professor of industrial engineering, is principal investigator of "Parametric Design of Functional Support Structures for Metal Alloy Feedstocks." Collaborators on the $805,966 contract include ITAMCO, Johnson & Johnson, and the University of Notre Dame.

"Support structures play two important roles in additive manufacturing - holding a part in place, and dissipating heat during manufacturing. However, these structures are very simple and few rules exist for designing them," Dr. Shankar said. "We want to codify the design rules for support structures used in Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) to inform and then automatically recommend the optimal part orientation and the designs for optimized supports. Also, by better controlling the design, we can more effectively draw away the heat during manufacturing and minimize distortion."

Led by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes' Project Call #3 for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development projects provided up to $8 million in funding toward these projects with $11 million in matching cost share from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $19 million. The Institute's third project call, which was released in February 2015, was focused on five technical additive manufacturing topic areas-design, material, process, value chain, and genome-each with subset focus areas. Proposals could address one or more technical topic areas, but had to address all evaluation criteria.

For more information, visit: www.americamakes.us/engage/projects

America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, is proud to announce nine awardees of its Project Call #3 for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development projects. Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes will provide up to $8 million in funding toward these projects with $11 million in matching cost share from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $19 million.

“This Project Call is indicative of the ongoing commitment of America Makes and our membership community to collectively target those focus areas that represent the greatest need, demonstrate the greatest impact, and show the most promise for commercialization of critical additive manufacturing technologies for the advancement of our industry at large,” said Rob Gorham, America Makes Director of Operations. “With the addition of the awardees from this Project Call, the America Makes project portfolio is incredibly robust and cutting-edge with the research and development underway to advance additive manufacturing technologies in the United States.”

The Institute’s third project call, which was released in February 2015, was focused on five technical additive manufacturing topic areas—design, material, process, value chain, and genome—each with subset focus areas. Proposals could address one or more technical topic areas, but had to address all evaluation criteria.

Tim Caffrey, Senior Consultant at Wohlers Associates, Inc. and a proposal committee evaluator, characterized the response to Project Call #3 as impressive. “I was struck by both the total number of submissions and the high quality of the proposals. Specifically, the proposals demonstrated close alignment to America Makes' mission and to its Technology Roadmap objectives, which is a testament to the maturity of the member proposal teams. The Institute is definitely operating and performing at an impressive level.”

Subject to the finalization of all contractual details and requirements, the nine selected America Makes Project Call #3 Awardees are as follows:

“Parametric Design of Functional Support Structures for Metal Alloy Feedstocks”
University of Pittsburgh
Led by the University of Pittsburgh, in conjunction with Johnson & Johnson, ITAMCO, and the University of Notre Dame, this project will strive to develop parametric designs of functional support structures for metal alloy feedstocks. Specifically, the project team aims to codify the design rules for support structures used in Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) to inform and then automatically recommend the optimal part orientation and the designs for optimized supports. Currently during part builds, support structures are not only essential to laying part foundations and providing structural support, but also are critical to eliminating part warp during powder recoating and improving heat extraction. However, few rules exist for designing support structures. Moreover, while AM machine tool software packages have the ability to add support structures, these existing capabilities are fairly primitive, not taking into consideration part orientation, distortion, or heat extraction uniformity.

“Multidisciplinary Design Analysis for Seamless AM Design, Analysis, Build, and Redesign Workflows”
Raytheon
Led by Raytheon, in conjunction with General Electric, Altair, ANSYS, Autodesk, NetFabb, the University of Wisconsin, and the Raytheon-University of Massachusetts Lowell Research Institute (RURI), this project will focus on multidisciplinary design analysis for seamless AM design, analysis, build, and redesign workflows that help streamline the design process and make it easier for engineers and technicians to develop mass-customizable engineered solutions suitable for AM. The project will address the development of Design For Manufacturability (DFM) criteria and rules that make step change improvements in the cycle time required to perform AM CAD/CAM/CAE analyses and design optimization, as well as the critical technology element (CTE) of design aides that provide key knowledge to design teams to perform trade-offs between AM and traditional processes. The project will also create the baseline methodology to perform trades between various AM material-process family alternatives and make improved decisions based on the required end product application.

“Economic Production of Next Generation Orthopedic Materials through Powder Reuse in AM”
University of Notre Dame
Led by the University of Notre Dame, in conjunction with Case Western Reserve University, SCM Metal Products Inc., Zimmer Inc., and DePuy Synthes, this project will address the economic production of next-generation orthopedic materials through powder reuse in AM. One of the major factors limiting AM’s extension to batch production is how to optimize the number of parts in a single AM build without negatively impacting part quality. The powder is expensive and poorly utilized in a typical build with only 5 to 20 percent of the powder volume fused into useful parts. Depending upon the material and machine manufacturer, it may be possible to reuse the powder. However, it is recognized that powder undergoes changes when it is exposed to a working atmosphere at elevated temperatures in an AM machine. All of these complications can be accommodated, but only if the impact on the mechanical properties is known and understood. This remains a critical need. This project will focus on the reuse of powder in AM, with particular emphasis on Ti-6Al-4V, stainless steel, and nylon.

“Integrated Design Tool Development for High Potential AM Applications”

University of Pittsburgh
Led by the University of Pittsburgh, in conjunction with ANSYS, United Technologies Research Center, Honeywell, Materials Science Corporation, Aerotech, ExOne, RTI International Metals, and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, this project team aims to develop an integrated design suite with built-in design aides for various AM manufacturability requirements and new topology optimization capabilities for high potential AM applications. AM technologies are now capable of producing very complex geometries and topologies, tremendously expanding the limited design space allowed by traditional manufacturing methods. However, existing CAD/CAE software packages to date have not taken full advantage of the enormous design freedom afforded by AM. By addressing this industry need, this project team seeks to create an integrated design suite that can be rapidly commercialized, helping to minimize time of the design phase, lower manufacturing cost, and reduce time to market for new AM product development.

“A Flexible Adaptive Open Architecture to Enable a Robust Third-Party Ecosystem for Metal Powder Bed Fusion AM Systems”

GE Global Research
Led by GE Global Research, in conjunction with GE Aviation’s Additive Development Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and MatterFab Corp., the objective of this project is to develop and demonstrate open architecture control systems for powder bed fusion additive manufacturing (PBFAM). Today, PBFAM for metals is evolving from rapid prototyping (RP) into mass production. However, high-volume production of mission-critical components must meet rigid engineering and quality standards that far exceed those of RP applications. While the industrial need to address these issues is immediate, the demand for solutions outpaces the capabilities of machine suppliers due in large part to the closed-architecture approach of existing OEMs. An open architecture for the PBFAM process that is flexible and easily adapted will enable a Function Applications Ecosystem, creating the opportunity for third-party hardware for ancillary processes to be easily integrated into PBFAM machines, thus accelerating AM advancements. Additionally, this hardware-focused project will directly complement an ongoing America Makes project, which is focused on open-source protocol and software for PBFAM and also is being executed by GE Global Research, and will be executed by two synergistic sub-teams.

“Digital Threading of AM”
Boeing
Led by Boeing, in conjunction with Aerojet, Raytheon, ITI, and Stratonics, Inc., the digital threading of AM project will enable an art-to-part integrated process and tools that reduce cost and cycle time by minimizing material deposition, component finishing processes, and the application of automation between process steps. This project will demonstrate the impact on processing costs, material lifecycle costs, quality control costs, labor costs, and energy requirement reductions by applying an industry unique and innovative combination of in-situ process monitoring capabilities that links data with the entire digital thread to improve information provided to the additive processes. Data obtained during the additive process will also be used for further improvement by correlating non-destructive inspection results with design and process information. The results are sets of information that directly impact and monitor the key metrics and information that supports improved engineering and manufacturing engineering design for additive. Combined, the in-situ monitoring capability, and the linking and analysis of digital thread information will enable companies to reduce time to market and reduce overall lifecycle costs.

“A Design Guidance System for AM”
Georgia Institute of Technology
Led by the Georgia Institute of Technology, in conjunction with Siemens Corporate Technology, MSC, Senvol, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Arlington, Lockheed Martin, GKN Aerospace, Woodward, Siemens Energy, and Siemens PLM, this project team aims to address several gaps and deficiencies in the manufacturing design to print workflow with a design guidance system for AM. In the current landscape, CAE tools are force fit to interface with AM within the design workflow. In addition to the extensive list of existing gaps within this makeshift workflow, several high-level workflow categories are also incompatible and missing from the current landscape, including decision tools for manufacturing process selection and justification, Finite Element Analysis for certification and validation of parts, and compatibility with Product Lifecycle Management software for configuration management. This project will focus on many of the gaps in the existing AM design to print workflow, enable the insertion of the decision tools and certification and validation of parts workflow categories, and provide a near seamless software ecosystem to eliminate the discontinuity in switching between multiple software tools by the passing of generic payload file formats, working towards the complete and ideal workflow.

“Cyber-Physical Design and AM of Custom Orthoses”

University of Michigan

Led by the University of Michigan, in conjunction with Altair ProductDesign Inc. and Stratasys Ltd., this project will streamline the digital workflow for AM design through the development of AM-specific functionality built on Altair® OptiStruct®, an optimization software package, generating unique fill patterns and digitally validating performance, while making key improvements in throughput and material offerings, using fused deposition modeling (FDM®) technology to produce customized ankle-foot orthoses (AFO). Healthcare is one of key markets in need of customized solutions, e.g. orthoses and prostheses. The current custom, fabrication method is decades-old and based on plaster-molds and hand crafting, and is not without its challenges, including long delivery time, multiple required visits, and limited design flexibility. Mass-customization is achievable by AM, however, fabrication time for custom AFO is in the range of 20 to 30 hours. Although a significant acceleration, due to the limitations in throughput, using AM for custom orthoses is not cost-effective. This project team seeks to leverage cloud-based design and AM technologies to achieve the throughput and performance requirements, advancements in design for AM, material offerings, system improvements, and a method to print multiple materials with multiple tip sizes to provide cost-effective, high-quality orthoses.

“A Low-cost Industrial Multi3D System for 3D Electronics Manufacturing”

The University of Texas at El Paso
Led by The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), in conjunction with Northrop Grumman, Stratasys Ltd., Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Honeywell, and Draper Laboratory, this project team seeks to deploy the next generation of AM technology into a low-cost industrial multi3D system for 3D electronics manufacturing. The goal of the proposed effort is to capitalize on the learnings of the ongoing, original America Makes project at UTEP, which focused on integrating a comprehensive manufacturing suite into a base AM fabrication process, and optimize a process for a low-cost industrial system to be housed within a single enclosure for a much wider adoption of this technology. This project will include the development of a consolidated system, including a flexible tooling dock integrated within an existing CNC gantry, which will allow the interchange of (1) precision micro-machining, (2) thermoplastic extrusion, (3) direct wire embedding with wire management, and (4) direct foil embedding. With these interchangeable features, the system will be able to fabricate complex-geometric dielectric structures with densely-routed metallic network topologies.

John Wilczynski, America Makes Deputy Director of Technology Development, said, “As a membership community, America Makes is addressing and overcoming known additive manufacturing challenges by working on innovative solutions that can be rapidly transitioned and commercialized. The response to Project Call #3 was outstanding and we are excited to get these awarded projects underway.”

The anticipated start date of the Project Call #3 is Summer 2015.

For more information, visit: www.americamakes.us

Published in America Makes

As part of its $20 million Google Impact Challenge focused on disabilities, Google.org has awarded a $600,000 grant to the Enable Community Foundation to further advance the e-NABLE community's innovative work on 3D-printed open-source prosthetics.

"We created the Enable Community Foundation to support the fast-growing community of volunteers now known around the world as "e-NABLE", said Foundation president Jon Schull. "Google.org's support will allow us to improve-- and to prove--our products and our processes."

As the world’s largest and most active open source prosthetics community, e-NABLE has produced hundreds of 3D printed prosthetic hands and continues to innovate low cost 3D printed prostheses.

Until recently, children with upper limb differences had few affordable prosthetic options because the conventional fabrication approaches are often too expensive and time-consuming for children who quickly outgrow them. The e-NABLE community leverages open source research and design, crowd-sourced fabrication, and mass-customization to produce affordable and effective prosthetics for children and adults.

"We think the e-NABLE community's products and practices are a potential model for other ventures that can inspire digital humanitarians to use emerging technologies to develop innovative solutions for underserved populations," said Schull, who is a Research Scientist at Rochester Institute of Technology. "Google.org has challenged us to test that idea, and given us the resources to do it, even as we continue to serve volunteers and recipients."

The Enable Community Foundation will use the funding to accelerate research and development through strategic partnerships, global design challenges, and to develop free and open source self-service software such as Handomatic which empowers individuals and groups to use, and to further develop, e-NABLE's inexpensive prosthetic solutions.

Ivan Owen, one of the Enable Community Foundation's directors observed, "We live in a time with an unprecedented level of access to knowledge, technology… and to each other. This opens the door to more flexible models for developing ideas and discovering unique solutions to unique problems, including the ability for people to work together even when they are an incredible distance apart. Our community has thrived as a result of powerful communications tools like Google Hangouts. It is a truly wonderful thing to now have Google’s direct support. As has always been the case with the e-NABLE community, by working together we can do more than we could ever dream of doing on our own."

The e-NABLE community is an open community founded by Jon Schull in 2013 to crowd-source the design, fabrication, and dissemination of 3D-printed prosthetics for children and others missing fingers or hands  The volunteer community has grown continuously since then, and has already delivered hundreds of devices to  recipients in at least 37 countries. The Enable Community Foundation was founded in October 2014 to support the mission and operations of the e-NABLE community.

For more information, visit: www.enablingthefuture.org

Published in Enabling The Future

America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, is proud to announce its next project call for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development projects. Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes will provide up to $8 million in funding toward these projects with at least $8 million in matching cost share from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $16 million.

“Today’s announcement marks yet another significant investment in AM made available through the Institute,” said Rob Gorham, America Makes Director of Operations. “With the addition of this Project Call, along with our most recent Directed Project Opportunity funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), America Makes will soon have a portfolio worth more than $68 million in public and private funds invested in advancing the state-of-the-art in AM in the United States.”

The America Makes Project Call is focused on those areas with the greatest impact as determined by the America Makes membership participation in the Technology Investment Strategy Workshops facilitated by America Makes and the Roadmap Advisory Group.

“This Project Call demonstrates America Makes’ continued commitment to maturing critical technologies specific to AM, as well as furthering the collective body of knowledge available to our membership that they can leverage for the advancement of our industry at large,” said John Wilczynski, America Makes Deputy Director of Technology Development.

The Project Call is limited to five technical topic areas with subset focus areas. Proposals can address one or more technical topic areas, but must address all evaluation criteria. The America Makes Project Call technical topics are as follows:

I. Additive Manufacturing Design:

The objective of this technical focus area is to drive technological advancements in new and novel non-proprietary design methods and tools required to enable a culture change and break the cycle of designing AM parts like cast or machined parts. This includes roadmap gap closure solution ideas that avoid being constrained by fundamental limitations associated with current CAD/CAM/CAE/PLM tools and design practices that have been developed for conventional manufacturing processes.

Current design methodologies and practices for product development have been optimized for conventional manufacturing processes (e.g., machining, casting, injection molding, powder pressing, composite mold lay-ups, electronic surface mount technology, etc.) and do not allow benefits and design freedom enabled by AM to be fully realized. Needed are new and novel design methodologies for AM produced parts that can fully exploit the benefits of being able to 3D print parts, using the rapidly growing variety of metallic; polymer and fiber-reinforced polymer; ceramic; and electronic feedstock materials for AM. This includes the integration of these new non-proprietary product and process design practices to enable manufacturers of all sizes to adopt the technology and be able to effectively use it to drive innovation across the supply chain.

II. Additive Manufacturing Material:

The objective of this technical focus area is to build the body of knowledge around benchmark AM property characterization data and eliminate variability in “as-built” material properties. This includes creating a paradigm shift away from controlling process parameters and “as-built” microstructures to instead controlling the underlying physics of the AM process at the micro-scale to achieve consistent, reproducible microstructures and hence “as-designed” properties.

Current AM processes and “as-built” part properties are being characterized in an ad hoc manner, leading to inconsistent and incomplete datasets that exhibit a high degree of property variability and uncertainty. Needed are standardized specifications that minimize variability in feedstock material properties along with more rigorous processing methods and guidelines that enable better control of the underlying physics of the AM processing that enable “as-designed” microstructures to be produced leading to reduced variability in “as-built” material properties.  This also includes the development of “open source” feedstock material specifications that are agnostic to a particular machine vendor and the development of standardized post-processing guidelines, such as, but not limited to, heat treatment and hot isostatic pressing for metallic parts to minimize property variability.

III. Additive Manufacturing Process:

The objective of this technical focus area is to drive technological advancements that enable faster, more accurate, and higher detail resolution AM machines with larger build volumes and improved “as-built” part quality. This includes targeting critical technologies and the associated sub-systems needed where the AM “machine level” process performance improvements are needed, similar to machine tool flexible manufacturing systems. This includes areas, such as, but not limited to, multi-axis, multi-power laser NC control sub-systems, process temperature gradient control sub-systems, continuous equipment, etc.

Current state AM processing capability limitations prevent many candidate parts from being economically viable at production volumes and often require extensive secondary post-processing to achieve the same characteristics as conventionally produced parts. Needed are advancements in numerous machine-level technologies, allowing AM to move from being a primarily rapid prototyping technology to a production viable technology. This includes the development of technologies that help accelerate, optimize, and control the underlying physics of the deposition, melt/sinter/extrude, and solidification mechanisms, which contribute to improved processing capabilities.

IV. Additive Manufacturing Value Chain:

The objective of this technical focus area is to drive technological advancements that enable step change improvements in end-to-end value chain cost and time to market for AM produced products. This includes rapid qualification/certification methods, as well as a holistic focus on integrating technologies across the entire product cradle-to-cradle life cycle, including material and product recyclability. This technical focus has been identified to help drive a priority focus on identifying advance manufacturing enterprise (AME) opportunities for creating a single integrated digital thread; help identify workforce skill set needs and technology enablers, such as design aides and apps to improve productivity; and highlight the need for new and novel rapid design and inspection technologies.

Current AM technology development efforts have been targeting individual elements of the value chain and/or product development life cycle in a fragmented manner and do not approach improving AM produced part cost and cycle time using a holistic system integration approach. Needed are enabling technologies focused on better integrating all elements of the AM value chain and product development life cycle together, including recognizing that design and inspection could become the new bottlenecks in the AM value chain as more complex 3D graded and multi-material components are produced. The goal of this technical focus area is thus to place a priority focus on the development and integration of affordability focused AM technologies across the entire cradle-to-cradle life cycle and value chain to reduce the overall AM produced part cost, cycle time, and time to market.

V. Additive Manufacturing Genome:

The objective of this technical focus area is to drive technological advancements that enable step change improvements in the time and cost required to design, develop, and qualify new materials for AM. This includes the development of new and novel computational methods, such as physics-based and model-assisted material property prediction tools, the development of common benchmark data sets needed to validate the computational predictions, and new and novel ideas for material property characterization that help break the cycle of developing design allowables for “every” new AM material-process combination.

Current material development, characterization, and qualification approaches are both highly empirical and serial in nature and as such, the associated cost, time, and risk required to develop and qualify new AM materials and processes are inhibiting large-scale technology adoption and insertion. Needed are the development of new and novel computationally enabled paradigm shifting “genome” building blocks that radically accelerate the time and reduce the cost associated with new material discovery, development, and qualification using concurrent product and process development models. The technical focus and goals for this technical focus area mirror the larger National Materials Genome Initiative, which is targeting an aggressive 2X improvement in the cost and time required to develop and qualify new AM materials.

To be eligible for the America Makes Project Call, a lead proposer must be an America Makes member by the proposal submission deadline of Friday, May 1, 2015.

An e-mail notice of intent to submit from the lead proposer of the project team is requested no later than Wednesday, March 25, 2015, to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and should include the proposed topics(s)/subtopic(s).

All proposals are due by Friday, May 1, 2015. Submissions must be presented by e-mail to the technical contact listed below with “America Makes PROJECT PROPOSAL” as the Subject line.

E-mail submissions to:

John Wilczynski

America Makes Deputy Director – Technology Development

National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining

All submissions will be acknowledged by a return e-mail confirmation from NCDMM.

America Makes Project Call award announcement will occur on Friday, June 12, 2015. The anticipated start date of the second set of projects is July 2015.

For more information, visit: www.americamakes.us/component/k2/item/696-america-makes-announces-project-call

Published in America Makes

From disaster recovery to caring for the elderly in the home, scientists and engineers are developing robots that can handle critical tasks in close proximity to humans, safely and with greater resilience than previous generations of intelligent machines.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture and NASA announced $31.5 million in new awards to spur the development and use of co-robots that work cooperatively with people.

The awards mark the third round of funding made through the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), a multi-agency program launched in September 2012 as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Initiative, with NSF as the lead federal agency.

"Robots and robotic systems have the potential to augment human abilities, improve our quality of life and perform dangerous tasks unsuitable for people," said Suzi Iacono, acting assistant director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at NSF. "Working with our federal partners in NRI has spurred new research directions that weren't previously possible without these collaborations."

The 52 new research awards, ranging from $300,000 to $1.8 million over one to four years, advance fundamental understanding of robotic sensing, motion, computer vision, machine learning and human-computer interaction. The awards include research to develop soft robots that are safer for human interaction, determine how humans can lead teams of robots in recovery situations and design robots that can check aging infrastructure and map remote geographic areas.

The NRI awards address the entire development cycle of robots, from fundamental research to deployments in critical environments, and will help make safe, helpful and affordable co-robots a reality.

"Our engineers and scientists are creating a world where robotic systems serve as trusted co-workers, co-inhabitants, co-explorers and co-defenders," said Pramod Khargonekar, assistant director of NSF's Engineering Directorate. "The National Robotics Initiative serves the national good by encouraging collaboration among academic, industry, non-profit and other organizations--and by speeding creation of fundamental science and engineering knowledge base used by researchers, applications developers and industry."

NSF's investments in robotics explore both the technical and engineering challenges of developing co-robots and the long-term social, behavioral and economic implications of co-robots across all areas of human activities. As part of the initiative, NSF also supports the development of new methods for the establishment and infusion of robotics in educational curricula.

Earlier this month, NRI announced its latest solicitation, which has been joined by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Department of Defense as new partners. The program expects to award up to $50 million in 2015.

For more information, visit: www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503641

Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Professor Aidan Byrne, has welcomed the launch of a new ARC Research Hub that will undertake research to establish Australia as a global leader in metal-based additive manufacturing in Australia.

The ARC Research Hub for Transforming Australia’s Manufacturing Industry through High Value Additive Manufacturing was officially opened today at Monash University. The Research Hub has been awarded $4 million over five years from the ARC through the Industrial Transformation Research Program.

Professor Byrne said the new Research Hub would focus on new additive manufacturing technology—also known as 3D printing—that can build components from metal alloy powders or wires by selective laser or electron beam melting.

“This technology makes it possible to produce components from computer design files without the need for tooling. This can lead to components being made more efficiently, cost and time-wise, while achieving equivalent or better performance,” said Professor Byrne.

“Technological advances in additive manufacturing also bring significant environmental benefits, allowing the creation of more light-weight products which require reduced energy to produce, and a significant reduction in material waste.

“This Research Hub will increase the awareness and uptake of metal-based additive manufacturing in Australia. It aims to establish Australia as a global leader in knowledge of additive manufacturing for metal components, with application in industries such as aerospace, automotive, biomedical, space and defence.”

The Research Hub will work collaboratively with partners including: Deakin University; The University of Queensland; Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation; Metallica Minerals Limited; Safran-Microturbo SAS; A.W. Bell; Amaero Engineering Pty Ltd; Chassis Brakes International (Australia) Pty Ltd; International Seal Company Australia Pty Ltd; and Kinetic Engineering Services Pty Ltd.

For more information, visit: www.arc.gov.au/ncgp/itrp/itrp_default.htm

Oxford Performance Materials Inc. (OPM) announced that it has received a three-year, $150,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to explore new approaches to improve the treatment of infections related to artificial hips, knees and other implanted devices through advanced applications of 3D printed poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK).

The NIH's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) provided the funding to Dr. Adam Hacking, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, at OPM. The long-term goal of this research is to develop improved methods to treat infections associated with implanted devices. The NIH grant will support research developing new approaches for the delivery of antibiotics through OPM's 3D printed PEKK implants.

"We are extremely grateful for the NIH support, as well as the peer reviewed process that recognized the magnitude of the clinical problem and the potential for advancement that our approach offers," said Dr. Hacking. "Device related infections are a burdensome clinical issue that results in prolonged patient suffering, increased mortality, and are expected to cost $12 billion per year by 2015. With this support from the NIH, we have the potential to rapidly advance treatment for bone and joint infections, reduce healthcare costs, reduce patient suffering and improve patient care."

Dr. Hacking continued, "3D printing has enabled the combination of a load-bearing implantable material, PEKK, with the simplicity, flexibility and availability of perfusable drug delivery systems. Perfusion is a desirable approach since nearly all therapeutics are deliverable in solution. Perfusion also enables the initiation, change, cessation or restoration of therapeutic delivery at any point in time."

This multidisciplinary research program involves established and productive experts in infectious disease, orthopedic surgery, chemical engineering, fluid dynamics and biomedical engineering from the Dept. of Orthopedics at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.

Oxford Performance Materials (OPM) is a recognized leader in 3D printing and high performance additive manufacturing (HPAM™). OPM has developed a range of advanced materials technology focused on the high performance polymer, poly-ether-ketone-ketone (PEKK). OPM is the first company to successfully apply additive manufacturing solutions to PEKK by utilizing the company's proprietary OXPEKK® formulation and delivers enterprise level, functional end-use products to the biomedical, aerospace and industrial markets. A pioneer in personalized medicine, OPM became the only company to receive FDA clearance to manufacture 3D printed patient-specific polymeric implants for its cranial prostheses line in February 2013, and its Biomedical division received a second 510(k) for its patient-specific facial implants in July 2014.

For more information, visit: www.oxfordpm.com

Wichita State University has been awarded a nearly $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to purchase laboratory equipment for the experiential engineering building, the first planned building on the Innovation Campus.

The funding will be used to purchase equipment for a state-of-the-art laboratory to allow manufacturers, entrepreneurs and designers to simulate and perform multi-robotic additive manufacturing, allowing them to test production process before committing to large-scale capital investments.

"This laboratory is one of dozens of elements we are bringing to Innovation Campus to ensure that WSU student and faculty researchers and the community have access to the most advanced tools for learning and economic development," said Wichita State President John Bardo. "We are thrilled that Wichita is identified as a leader in the resurgence of American manufacturing."

The lab will consist of two elements:

1) a large-scale virtual reality environment for assessing the feasibility of implementing additive manufacturing
2) multi-robotic additive manufacturing system for developing prototypes.

Additive manufacturing is also referred to as 3D printing, a technology that is gaining the interest of many large scale manufacturers as a way to increase production and decrease cost.

John Tomblin, WSU vice president for research and technology transfer, said equipment and software purchased with the EDA grant will help secure Wichita State's role as a leading university-based research center for advanced manufacturing.

"The laboratory will test the feasibility of using additive manufacturing technology in the manufacturing process – to verify that the newly designed production process is producible, scalable, processable, affordable and maintainable," said Tomblin.

The equipment will also be used to train students and existing and new workforce on simulation and additive manufacturing technology.

The equipment will be installed in the Experiential Engineering building as soon as it is complete. Until then, it will be housed within Wichita State laboratories at the National Center for Aviation Training.

Groundbreaking for the experiential engineering building is planned for February. The building will replace the Wheatshocker Apartments building and is expected to encompass 180,000 square feet. It will include an experiential learning environment, innovation laboratories and an incubator space.

The grant is the first one resulting from the federal government's Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP), announced in May.

The equipment selected for the experiential engineering building addresses all four priorities identified by the IMCP task force. Those priorities are:

  • Prototyping facilities with equipment and supporting services that integrate design optimization software including computational fluid dynamics (CFD), cutting technologies, and machining (development, testing, evaluation and certification)
  • Materials-based development, testing and evaluation to support prototyping
  • Process improvements at both the prototyping and manufacturing stages
  • Flexible automation

For more information, visit: www.wichita.edu/innovation

Continuing to advance his JOBS 1st PA initiative, Governor Tom Corbett announced the award of a Discovered in PA – Developed in PA grant to Carnegie Mellon University and Lehigh University to support the Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania program, created to engage in specific innovation projects with Pennsylvania manufacturers.

"Pennsylvania is known for making products for the world, and to remain competitive, we must ensure our policies support the technology and innovation of the 21st century," said Corbett. "By supporting this collaborative initiative, we will tap the best and brightest from two of Pennsylvania's many prestigious universities to help our manufacturers remain leaders in the global economy."

The Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania program (RAMP) will operate as a competitive funding program that will provide small incentive grants to faculty-led teams at both Carnegie Mellon University and Lehigh University to engage in specific, short-term innovation projects with a Pennsylvania manufacturing company to rapidly develop and transfer innovative technologies to help Pennsylvania manufacturers to compete in the global marketplace.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) will receive a $1 million grant from the Discovered in PA—Developed in PA (D2PA) program to support the partnership between CMU and Lehigh's research on additive manufacturing also knows as 3-D printing. The use and deployment of this technology will support the efficiency and competitiveness of manufacturers within the commonwealth.

The governor was joined for the visit by America Makes, Carnegie Mellon and Lehigh Universities at 3D Systems, one of the largest 3D printing manufacturers and a partner on this project.

"Pennsylvania has taken a clear leadership role by actively advancing additive manufacturing in the commonwealth demonstrated by its investment to America Makes through the states Research for Additive Manufacturing in Pennsylvania (RAMP) initiative," said Jim Williams, VP of Aerospace and Defense, 3D Systems. "These programs, supported by Pennsylvania, Governor Corbett, America Makes, Pennsylvania's universities and 3D Systems, will advance 3D printing manufacturing technology, to become pervasive in industry which will lead to increased jobs assuring our national security."

Today's announcement will support at least 10 projects that include the fabrication of medical instrumentation for knee and hip replacement and complex additive processing parameters with various materials.

RAMP provides technical and economic benefits to the state's small, medium and large-sized manufacturing companies by enabling knowledge transfer, the discovery of new technologies and retention of highly-skilled students.

"Through investments made with our students and manufacturers, we will ensure that our students are provided with high-quality educational programs that will help them secure good paying jobs upon graduation," Corbett said.

A $1 million grant to Lehigh University from America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute and private industry contributions, has also been provided in matching dollars to fund the project.

"Additive manufacturing shrinks the distance between what we can imagine and what we can make," said Alan J. Snyder, Ph.D., Vice President and Associate Provost for Research and Graduate Studies, Lehigh University. "The RAMP program provides a proven means of doing what needs to be done to capitalize on the potential of additive manufacturing, in what will be a fast-moving and hotly competitive environment: connecting university research and talent development with Pennsylvania companies that can deliver new products and capabilities to customers."

"The advanced manufacturing R&D enabled by the RAMP 2 program will create a strong collaborative environment to make Pennsylvania companies more competitive in the nation and in the global marketplace," said Burak Ozdoganlar, Ph.D., RAMP Co-Director, Director of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems, Carnegie Mellon University. "Manufacturing competitiveness is vital to retaining and increasing high-technology jobs in Pennsylvania, as well as retaining our best and brightest students in the state."

Additive technology employs computer design and computer-driven machinery to build complex parts and devices in microscopic layers, using plastics or powdered metals. The technology makes it possible to create shapes and designs previously impossible through traditional manufacturing methods.

D2PA was established by Corbett in 2011 to build capacity to support Pennsylvania businesses and to spur creativity and innovation in the provision of economic development services. Last fiscal year, the D2PA program supported initiatives tied to growing the life sciences, advanced manufacturing, business incubators, and education, workforce and economic opportunity collaborations

For more information, visit: www.ices.cmu.edu/ramp/home.asp

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded 19 advanced manufacturing technology planning grants totaling $9 million to new or existing industry-driven consortia to develop technology roadmaps aimed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing and innovation performance across industries.

The grants, awarded to universities and other nonprofit organizations, are the first conferred by NIST's new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program. They range from $378,900 to $540,000 for a period of up to two years.

The funded projects will identify and rank research and development goals, define workforce needs, and initiate other steps toward speeding technology development and transfer and improving manufacturing capabilities. Project collaborations span a wide variety of industries and technologies, from flexible-electronics manufacturing to biomanufacturing and from pulp-and-paper manufacturing to forming and joining technologies.

"The AMTech awards provide incentives for partnerships to tackle the important jobs of planning, setting strategic manufacturing technology goals, and developing a shared vision of how to work collaboratively to get there," said NIST Director Patrick Gallagher. "These are essential first steps toward building the research infrastructure necessary to sustain a healthy, innovative advanced manufacturing sector—one that invents, demonstrates, prototypes and produces here, in the U.S."

Technology roadmapping is a key component of all funded projects. Each consortium will engage manufacturers of all sizes, university researchers, trade associations and other stakeholders in an interactive process to identify and prioritize research projects that reduce shared barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing in the United States.

In conjunction with developing technology roadmaps, the projects will undertake related tasks such as defining challenges specific to building robust domestic supply chains and establishing skill-set requirements for an advanced manufacturing workforce.

Established in 2013, the AMTech program aims to catalyze partnerships between U.S. industry, academia, and government that will support efforts to meet the long-term research needs of U.S. industry. A specific objective is to enable new—or to strengthen existing—industry-led technology consortia for the purpose of identifying and prioritizing research projects that reduce barriers to the growth of advanced manufacturing.

On July 24, 2013, the program announced its inaugural competition for planning grants. It received 82 applications seeking a total of $37.4 million in funding. Of the 19 consortia that received grants, 11 are new efforts that will be launched with AMTech funding. Applications for these projects included letters of commitment from companies and other prospective partners.

For more information, visit: www.nist.gov/amo/fundedawards.cfm

Published in NIST

A multi-partner team led by UI LABS has been selected to receive a $70 million award from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) Institute.

The federal investment for the DMDI Institute will be used to establish the Digital Lab for Manufacturing (Digital Lab), led by UI LABS, a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative. Along with the $70 million cooperative agreement, UI LABS has secured an additional $250 million dollars of support from industry, university, government, and community partners to form the $320 million Digital Lab.

“This is a transformative opportunity to shape the future of American Manufacturing,” states Warren Holtsberg, Chairman of UI LABS.  “We salute the vision of the President and the confidence the Department of Defense placed in UI LABS to be that change agent.”

The 18-month effort to develop the vision and plans for the Digital Lab was steered by a dedicated core team of individuals from UI LABS, the Office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Office of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and World Business Chicago.  The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago also made significant contributions as members of the core planning team, in collaboration with a broad set of partners spanning 17 states.  McKinsey & Company supported the team by providing fact-based research and analysis.

“This new Digital Lab has the potential to revolutionize the way the United States approaches manufacturing and a major effort will be centered in Illinois,” states U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “Partners from across the state including the Quad Cities Manufacturing Laboratory, the Blue Waters Supercomputer at the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, and the City Chicago will be at the forefront of innovative, industry-driven research that will make America more competitive on the global stage. Illinois will undoubtedly benefit from the thousands of jobs created through this research.”

"Illinois is at the forefront of a high-tech manufacturing revolution and that means our state will be Ground Zero for creating the high-tech jobs of the future,” Governor Pat Quinn said. "This first-of-its-kind digital hub will make companies more competitive and stronger by providing them with the most cutting edge tools and technologies. It will be the birthplace for innovations that will change the world in which we live, work and play."

“This solidifies Chicago’s place as the epicenter of the digital manufacturing revolution that will create thousands of jobs here and make our city the place where the greatest 21st century innovations are born,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This cutting-edge Digital Lab will ensure that the City of Big Shoulders remains the City of Big Discoveries for years to come.”

“We are grateful for the backing of our many industry and community partners as well as the bipartisan support from federal, state and local officials across the U.S.,” said UI LABS Interim Executive Director Caralynn Nowinski.  “We are especially proud of the recognition and collaboration from our incredible university and industry partners who are helping UI LABS realize its vision to be a platform for public-private partnerships that will enhance our nation’s competitiveness.”

Digital Lab for Manufacturing (Digital Lab)

The Digital Lab will be headquartered in Chicago and connected to a network of manufacturing research sites across the United States.  As a pillar of President Obama’s investment in U.S. Manufacturing, the Digital Lab will be the nation’s flagship research institute in digital manufacturing and design innovation and a world-class, first-of-its-kind manufacturing hub with the capabilities, innovation, and collaboration necessary to transform American manufacturing.

The Digital Lab will apply cutting edge mobile, cloud, and high-performance computing technologies to the manufacturing challenges of the DoD and industry. By utilizing the Digital Manufacturing Commons (DMC), an open-source online software platform, the Digital Lab will create online networks of people, manufacturing machines, and factories. In turn, this will enable real-time collaboration and analysis of big data during the design and manufacturing processes - reducing the time and cost of manufacturing, strengthening the capabilities of the U.S. supply chain, and reducing acquisition costs for DoD.

The world’s most competitive manufacturing companies have come together to invest in the Digital Lab under the leadership of UI LABS.  Key industry investors, including General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Lockheed Martin, Siemens, Boeing, Deere, Caterpillar, Microsoft, Illinois Tool Works and PARC among many others, have partnered with leading universities, local government, and community organizations to launch this $320 million institute.

Jobs & Economic Impact

The Digital Lab’s applied research will spur the creation of thousands of jobs in advanced manufacturing fields and make the U.S. economy more competitive, generating billions of dollars of value for the DoD and the U.S. industrial base.  Many of these new jobs will require new skills, and the workforce must follow.  The Digital Lab is a vehicle for workforce development, through partnerships with community colleges, local economic development organizations, and national associations, including SME, a leader in manufacturing workforce development, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Manufacturing Institute, and Project Lead the Way.

Digital design tools allow for new product development to be accelerated by up to 50 percent, by expanding business opportunities and improving the supply chain security, putting U.S. companies ahead of international competitors.  Additionally, the DMC, which is the centerpiece of the Digital Lab approach, will expedite the production of parts and services, expanding markets and the base of suppliers, and driving innovation in related goods and services.

Digital Lab Team

The UI LABS-led consortium includes:

  • World-class technology companies as well as both defense and commercial manufacturers, including General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Lockheed Martin, Siemens, Boeing, Caterpillar, Deere & Company, Illinois Tool Works, Microsoft, PARC, among many others
  • Next-generation technology companies working alongside 10 of the Top 50 best performing U.S. manufacturers.
  • The nation’s premier engineering schools, one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, and nationally-recognized education and workforce partners.
  • 6 of the top 20 engineering schools in the U.S.
  • More than 12% of all engineering / computer science students graduating annually in the U.S.
  • Partners are regionally anchored in the Midwest, spanning Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, and Nebraska.  Additionally, the team includes world-class university partners from beyond the Midwest, including Texas, Colorado, New York, and Oregon, to leverage the best research and technology in the country and deploy solutions on a broad scale.
  • Network of local, regional, and national organizations, community colleges, and MEP partners, providing connections to over 220,000 small and mid-sized companies.

Digital Lab Leadership

The Digital Lab is led by Executive Director Dean Bartles, Ph.D., who has 35 years of successful manufacturing operations, program management, marketing, and R&D at leading U.S. Defense firms.  Dr. Bartles has spent the past 13 years as VP at General Dynamics - Ordinance and Tactical Systems.

The Digital Lab’s technology leader is Chief Technology Officer William King, Ph.D., a globally recognized leader in manufacturing and design innovation. Dr. King is the College of Engineering Bliss Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he leads a research group whose work crosses boundaries between science, technology, and commercialization.  Dr. King has been founder, advisor, or director at a dozen early stage technology companies with a focus on manufacturing, materials, and nanotechnology.  He is the winner of numerous research awards and was named by Technology Review Magazine as a person whose innovations will change the world.

About UI LABS

As a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative, UI LABS brings industries, universities and government together to apply real solutions to tomorrow’s most important business, economic, and cultural challenges.  UI LABS actively cultivates and channels talent and resources, fosters unbiased collaboration to bring new ideas to market, and drives economic growth and competitiveness.

Caralynn Nowinski, M.D., serves as the Interim Executive Director for UI LABS. In her capacity as the Associate Vice President for Innovation & Economic Development at the University of Illinois, Dr. Nowinski was one of the founders of UI LABS.  She offers a unique perspective to the University’s and UI LABS’ efforts to foster innovation, encourage collaboration, and stimulate Illinois competitiveness, drawing from her past experiences as an entrepreneur, physician and venture capitalist.

For more information, visit: digitallab.uilabs.org

Published in UI LABS

America Makes, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, is proud to announce the awardees of its second call for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development projects from its members. Driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes will provide $9 million in funding toward these projects with $10.3 million in matching cost share from the awarded project teams for total funding worth $19.3 million.

According to America Makes Director and NCDMM Vice President Ed Morris, "We were very pleased by the quality of the projects proposed by our members for this second round of additive manufacturing R&D projects being launched, which of course made the final selection process even more challenging. Combined with the projects underway from our first project call, we will soon have nearly $30 million of public and private funds invested in advancing the state-of-the-art in additive manufacturing in the United States."

The Institute's second project call, which was released on August 30, 2013, was focused on five technical topic areas-design for AM; AM materials; process and equipment; qualification and certification; and knowledgebase development-each with subset focus areas. Proposals could address one or more technical topic areas, but had to address all evaluation criteria.

The 15 selected projects span a variety of AM processes and materials with near-term technical achievements that address a comprehensive set of priorities-needs, gaps, and opportunities-within the AM and 3D printing industry. Moreover, these projects represent exceptional teaming within the America Makes community and beyond. Of the 75 individual partners among the 15 selected projects, 31 are America Makes members, including four Platinum (Lead) members, 15 Gold (Full) members; and 12 Silver (Supporting) members.

Subject to the finalization of all contractual details and requirements, the 15 selected America Makes projects are as follows:

•    "In-Process Quality Assurance (IPQA) for Laser Powder Bed Production of Aerospace Components"
Led by General Electric Aviation, in partnership with Aerojet Rocketdyne; B6 Sigma, Inc.; Burke E. Porter Machinery Company; Honeywell Aerospace; Montana Tech of The University of Montana; and TechSolve, Inc., this project will address the need for the development of a commercially available, platform-independent Quality Assurance technology for high-volume AM production of aerospace components, which is currently lacking within the industry. The proposed effort will be achieved through the maturation of an IPQA technology solution that leverages a development approach, incorporating multiple AM machines and multiple super alloys.

•    "Developing Topology Optimization Tools that Enable Efficient Design of AM Cellular Structures"
Led by the University of Pittsburgh, in partnership with Acutec Precision Machining Inc.; Alcoa Inc.; ANSYS, Inc.; and ExOne, this project will develop robust software for design and optimization of AM structural designs based on cellular structures. The key innovation in this technology is the utilization of micromechanics models for capturing the effective behavior of cellular structures in finite element analysis (FEA). The results from this project will enable the AM community to optimize advanced cellular structures for the design and manufacture of lightweight and strong AM parts, impacting multiple commercial sectors.

•    "AM of Biomedical Devices from Bioresorbable Metallic Alloys for Medical Applications"
Led by the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, in partnership with ExOne and Magnesium Elektron Powders, this project will develop AM methods to convert magnesium and iron-based alloys into biomedical devices, such as bone plates, tracheal stents, and scaffolds. Biocompatibility, bioresorption, and mechanical testing will be performed on the fabricated test specimens produced by a binder jet printing shape-making approach.

•    "Refining Microstructure of AM Materials to Improve Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI)"
Led by EWI, in partnership with Lockheed Martin and Sciaky, Inc., this project will address the need to improve the ability to ultrasonic inspect titanium alloy components for high-performance aerospace applications, which feature a complex microstructure created during the electron beam directed energy deposition and subsequent heat treatment processes, through the modification of deposition process parameters and advancement of ultrasonic inspection techniques.

•    "Development of Distortion Prediction and Compensation Methods for Metal Powder-Bed AM"
Led by GE Global Research, in partnership with 3DSim, Inc.; CDI Corporation; Honeywell Aerospace; Pan Computing LLC; Penn State University; United Technologies Research Center; and the University of Louisville, this project will benchmark and validate physics-based thermal distortion prediction and mitigation tools for metal powder-bed AM. The goal of this project is to achieve a significant reduction in development time enabled by physics-based distortion prediction and compensation tools. It is anticipated that this project will be foundational in establishing a standard set of AM design rules, distortion mitigation practices, and associated training for the entire AM supply base.

•    "Development of a Low-Cost 'Lens® Engine'"
Led by Optomec, in partnership with Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control; MachMotion; TechSolve, Inc.; and U.S. Army Benet Laboratories, this project will enable a broad proliferation of metal AM through the development of a modular, cost-effective "LENS® Engine" for metal laser deposition, which can be installed into virtually any modern machine tool. To reach this goal, the latest in controls, toolpath generation, and quality monitoring are to be embedded in a modular design that can be easily upgraded and maintained as part of a machine tool system.

•    "Development of Knowledgebase of Deposition Parameters for Ti-6Al-4V and IN718"
Led by Optomec, in partnership with Applied Optimization Inc., this project will offer an efficient and reusable solution to define process parameters that result in defect-free deposition in metallic AM. The knowledgebase will consist of a matrix of permissible combinations of process parameter values that may be used in order to produce defect-free additive deposits using the LENS process. The knowledgebase will provide a process engineer the ability to select from a matrix of vetted process parameter combinations and minimize/eliminate the trial-and-error or cut-and-try approach to process development. The knowledgebase will be generated for two alloys of interest, Ti-6Al-4V and IN718.

•    "Automatic Finishing of Metal AM Parts to Achieve Required Tolerances & Surface Finishes"
Led by North Carolina State University, in partnership with Advanced Machining; CalRAM Inc.; FineLine Prototyping, Inc.; Iowa State University; John Deere; Kennametal Inc.; and Productivity Inc., this project will address a critical need currently impeding the broader adoption of AM methodologies. The goal of this project is to create a system that will be able to produce a mechanical product to final geometric specification. A hybrid manufacturing system, using both additive and then subtractive processing, will be developed so that mechanical parts can be "digitally manufactured" to meet the necessary final geometric accuracy required.

•    "Electron Beam Melted Ti-6Al-4V AM Demonstration and Allowables Development"
Led by Northrop Grumman in partnership with CalRAM Inc.; Concurrent Technologies Corporation; General Electric; and Robert C. Byrd Institute, this project will demonstrate the full-scale component fabrication of electron beam (E-Beam) AM Ti-6Al-4V titanium alloy components, the development of a complete set of materials design allowables, and validation of non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods on full-scale E-Beam AM demonstration components. Implementation opportunities for air and space structural components, as well as propulsion system components, will also be evaluated for transition to production.

•    "3D Printing Multi-Functionality: AM for Aerospace Applications"
Led by the University of Texas - El Paso, in partnership with Lockheed Martin; Northrop Grumman Corporation; rp+m, Inc.; Stratasys, Ltd.; The University of New Mexico; and Youngstown State University, a comprehensive manufacturing suite will be integrated into a base AM fabrication process to include 1) extrusion of a wide variety of robust thermoplastics/metals; 2) micromachining; 3) laser ablation; 4) embedding wires and fine-pitch meshes submerged within the thermoplastics; and 5) robotic component placement. Collectively, the integrated technologies will fabricate multi-material structures through the integration of multiple integrated manufacturing systems to provide multi-functional products like consumer wearable electronics, biomedical devices, and defense, space, and energy systems.

•    "Metal Alloys and Novel Ultra-Low-Cost 3D Weld Printing Platform for Rapid Prototyping and Production"
Led by Michigan Technological University, in partnership with Aleph Objects, Inc.; ASM International; Miller/ITW; ThermoAnalytics, Inc.; and The Timken Company, this project will focus on four interlinked tasks necessary to commercialize an ultra-low-cost 3D metal printer and develop new 3D printable alloys for it. Material development will focus on aluminum alloys, with the ultimate goal of developing a printable alloy from recycled beverage containers or cans.

•    "Accelerated Adoption of AM Technology in the American Foundry Industry"
Led by the Youngstown Business Incubator, in partnership with the American Foundry Society; ExOne; Humtown Products; Janney Capital Markets; and the University of Northern Iowa, this project team will support the transition of binder jet AM to the small business casting industry by allowing increased access to use of binder jet equipment and the development of design guidelines and process specifications.

•    "A Database Relating Powder Properties to Process Outcomes for Direct Metal AM"
Led by Carnegie Mellon University, in partnership with AMETEK Specialty Metal Products; ATI Powder Metals; CalRAM Inc.; Carpenter Powder Products Inc.; FineLine Prototyping, Inc.; Medical Modeling Corporation; North Carolina State University; Oxford Performance Materials; Pratt & Whitney; Robert C. Byrd Institute; TE Connectivity Ltd.; United Technologies Research Center; and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, this project will create a first-of-its-kind database relating powder properties (e.g., mean particle diameter, particle diameter distribution, particle morphology, metrics for flowability) from various suppliers to process outcomes (e.g., powder spreadability, powder ability to be sintered, melt pool geometry, microstructure, geometric precision, and material hardness). Additionally, for at least one powder system that is not immediately useable in a direct metal machine, the project will identify process variable changes needed to make that powder system yield outcomes comparable to standard powders.

•    "High-Throughput Functional Material Deposition Using a Laser Hot Wire Process"  - Case Western Reserve University
Led by Case Western Reserve University, in partnership with Aquilex Corporate Technology Center (AZZ, Inc.); Lincoln Electric Company; rp+m, Inc.; and RTI International Metals, this project will focus on the assessment of a laser-assisted, wire-based additive process developed by the Lincoln Electric Company for different high-throughput functional material deposition applications, and will benchmark it against a laser-/powder-based AM process.

•    "Optimization of Parallel Consolidation Method for Industrial Additive Manufacturing"
Led by Stony Creek Labs, in partnership with Grid Logic; Michigan Economic Development Corporation; MSC; Oakland University; and Raytheon Missile Systems, this project will continue development of a novel method for AM by consolidating powder at many points on a part simultaneously. Materials and process data relating to the parallel consolidation method will be captured in a knowledgebase in a format consistent with the America Makes national repository framework. The knowledgebase will be complemented by online training, workforce development, and publication initiatives to disseminate information about the project's results and support transition to commercial adoption.

"I want to congratulate the America Makes community and our second project call awardees," said America Makes Founding Director and NCDMM President and Executive Director Ralph Resnick. "I continue to be extraordinarily proud of the strides that America Makes is making to advance additive manufacturing and 3DP technologies. Today's announcement of the second project call awardees exemplifies how our incredibly innovative and active community-comprising both members and non-members-is working together, sometimes even with competitors, to advance our industry by exploring the limitless possibilities of 3DP. I am very excited for these projects to get underway."

The anticipated start date of the second set of projects is early Spring 2014.

In addition to today's project award announcement, America Makes is also announcing that it will conduct a Program Management Review for members only on March 18-20 in Youngstown, Ohio. The review will include overviews of the new projects being awarded.

America Makes is the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. As the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3D printing (3DP), America Makes is the nation's leading and collaborative partner in AM and 3DP technology research, discovery, creation, and innovation. Structured as a public-private partnership with member organizations from industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and workforce and economic development resources, we are working together to innovate and accelerate AM and 3DP to increase our nation's global manufacturing competitiveness. Based in Youngstown, Ohio, America Makes is the pilot institute for up to 45 manufacturing innovation institutes and is driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM).

For more information, visit: www.americamakes.us

Published in America Makes

DARPA defines its research portfolio within a framework that puts the Agency's enduring mission in the context of tomorrow's environment for national security and technology. An integral part of this strategy includes establishing and sustaining a pipeline of talented scientists, engineers, and mathematicians who are motivated to pursue high risk, high payoff fundamental research in disciplines that are critical to maintaining the technological superiority of the U.S. military.

DARPA's Young Faculty Awards (YFA) program addresses this need by funding the work of promising researchers and pairing them with DARPA program managers. This pairing provides YFA researchers with mentoring and networking opportunities as well as exposure to DoD technology needs and the overall research and development process. The 2014 YFA solicitation includes technical topic areas in the physical sciences, engineering, materials, mathematics, biology, computing, informatics and manufacturing disciplines that are relevant to the research interests of DARPA's Defense Sciences and Microsystems Technology Offices.

"YFA offers promising junior faculty members and their peers at nonprofit research institutions the chance to do potentially revolutionary work much earlier in their careers than they otherwise could," said William Casebeer, DARPA program manager for the 2014 class. "By expanding the list of research topics this year from 13 to 18 - our largest portfolio since the program started in 2006 - we hope to attract even more creative proposals that could lead to future breakthroughs on critical defense challenges. The growth reflects how successful past awardees have been in supporting DARPA's mission."

Eligible applicants must be employed in U.S. institutions of higher learning and within five years of appointment to a tenure-track position, or hold equivalent positions at non-profit research institutions.

Researchers selected for YFA grants receive up to $500,000 in funding over a 24-month period. As many as four of the most exceptional performers may be selected to receive up to another $500,000 over an additional year under a DARPA Director's Fellowship.

DARPA is, for the first time, permitting proposers to form partnerships with subcontractors. The subcontractor relationship cannot exceed 30 percent of the total grant value. In addition to enhancing the competitiveness of proposed research plans, this change is designed to provide young investigators with the opportunity to manage a multidisciplinary team and gain a better understanding of the work performed by a DARPA program manager.

"The YFA program represents a strategic investment in fundamental research and professional development of the next generation of scientists and engineers focused on defense and national security issues," said Mari Maeda, director of DARPA's Defense Sciences Office. "It also benefits the young researchers and their institutions by engaging them in valuable, high-risk, high-impact research, providing a mentoring relationship with a DARPA program manager, expanding channels for future ideas to flow, and, now, exposing them to the rigors of managing a multidisciplinary team."

The list of technical topic areas for 2014 includes:

  • Optimizing Supervision for Improved Autonomy
  • Neurobiological Mechanisms of Social Media Processing
  • Next-generation Neural Sensing for Brain-Machine Interfaces
  • Mathematical and Computational Methods to Identify and Characterize Logical and Causal Relations in Information
  • Time-Dependent Integrated Computational Materials Engineering
  • Long-range Detection of Special Nuclear Materials
  • Alternate Fusion Concepts
  • New Materials and Devices for Monitoring and Modulating Local Physiology
  • Methods and Theory for Fundamental Circuit-Level Understanding of the Human Brain
  • Hierarchically Complex Materials that Respond and Adapt
  • Disruptive Materials Processing
  • Disruptive Computing Architectures
  • Appliqué Antenna Elements for Platform Integration
  • Modeling Phonon Generation and Transport in the Near Junction Region of Wide-Bandgap Transistors
  • Advanced Automation and Microfluidic Technologies for Engineering Biology
  • Energy Recovery in Post-CMOS Technologies
  • Thin Film Transistors for High-performance RF and Power Electronics
  • Neural-inspired Computer Engineering

For more information, visit: www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=247637

Published in DARPA

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the award of two grants totaling $7.4 million to fund research projects aimed at improving measurement and standards for the rapidly developing field of additive manufacturing. Benefits of additive manufacturing include producing goods quickly and on-demand, with greater customization and complexity and less material waste.

NIST is awarding $5 million to the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) in Youngstown, Ohio, which is operated by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, for a three-phase collaborative research effort involving 27 companies, universities and national laboratories. Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill., will receive $2.4 million to develop tools for process control and qualifying parts made with layer-by-layer additive-manufacturing processes.

“Improving additive manufacturing is an important part of the administration’s efforts to help U.S. manufacturers by supporting new opportunities to innovate,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher. “The public-private research partnerships led by NAMII and Northern Illinois University are tackling important measurement science-related barriers that must be overcome before this cutting-edge technology can be more widely used, helping America remain innovative and globally competitive.”

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, is a group of new technologies that build up objects, usually by laying down many thin layers on top of each other. In contrast, traditional machining creates objects by cutting material away. A diverse array of manufacturing industries—from aircraft to medical devices and from electronics to customized consumer goods—are already using or exploring applications of these new technologies.

Additive manufacturing processes face a variety of hurdles that limit their utility for high-value products and applications. Technical challenges include inadequate data on the properties of materials used, limited process control, lack of standardized tests for qualifying machine performance and limited modeling and design tools. The new projects aim to address those challenges.

Specifically, the grants announced today will support NAMII’s three-part research plan that seeks to ensure that quality parts are produced and certified for use in products made by a variety of industries and their supply chains. Northern Illinois University and its collaborators plan to develop a suite of integrated tools for process control and additive manufacturing part qualification.

The competitively awarded grants, which are for two years, were made through NIST’s Measurement Science for Advanced Manufacturing (MSAM) Cooperative Agreement Program.

For more information, visit: www.manufacturing.gov/msam_awards.html

Published in NIST

NAMII, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, and driven by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), proudly announces its second call for additive manufacturing (AM) applied research and development projects from NAMII members. NAMII will provide $9 million in funding for multiple awards.

“Today’s announcement of NAMII’s second call for projects is the accumulation of months of focused work and in-depth analysis on two fronts that are intrinsically linked: The creation of a formal, member-driven project call process and the development of a National Additive Manufacturing Roadmap, our technology investment strategy,” said NAMII Director and NCDMM Vice President Ed Morris. “Both initiatives originated from NAMII’s efforts to capture the voice of our community, beginning in April with our initial Program Management Review (PMR) meeting continuing at our RAPID appearance in June, and progressing throughout a series of NAMII member-only workshops held in July.

“The input we gathered across the board was invaluable,” continued Mr. Morris. “As a result, NAMII now has a robust project call process in place that can be leveraged for all future calls. It will also drive the ongoing evolution of a very timely, accurate, and forward-looking Roadmap. Together, the process and Roadmap enabled us to identify a comprehensive set of priorities — needs, gaps, and opportunities — within our industry. NAMII is addressing those priorities with this second call for applied research and development projects. I look forward to receiving an influx of submissions from NAMII members.”

NAMII’s second call for projects comes just two weeks after commemorating its first anniversary — an industrious, high-energy year marked by notable achievements for the public-private partnership that is currently 80 members strong. With the release of this second project call, NAMII is well positioned for yet another productive and successful year.

“From the PMR meetings to RAPID and most recently, at a series of engaging and collaborative workshops facilitated by NAMII, we remain diligent in all our efforts to empower our members and community and to prioritize their needs,” added Rob Gorham, NAMII Deputy Director – Technology Development. “NAMII is incredibly proud and excited to release such a community-driven, second project call that will fund cross-cutting additive manufacturing and 3D printing projects with the potential to produce some big outcomes.”

NAMII’s Project Call Request for Proposal (RFP) is limited to five technical topic areas with subset focus areas. Proposals can address one or more technical topic areas, but must address all evaluation criteria.

I. Design for Additive Manufacturing

a) Complex and Reproducible Designs via Modeling and Simulation Tools: The ability to manufacture very complex design geometries continues to be demonstrated with current AM / 3DP processes. The challenge exists when attempting to validate the value of the design as the final solution. Modeling and simulation provides the platform for capturing the interactions of material, processes, and design. The focus of this technical topic is the development of modeling and simulation tools that enable the ability to “virtually” evaluate and optimize process and product alternatives for reduced cost, schedule risk reduction and performance improvements.

II. Additive Manufacturing Materials

a) Sustainable Materials for AM / 3DP: Two important R&D needs have been identified to support the increased utilization of sustainable materials for AM. Responsive proposals to this subtopic may address one or both of these challenges:

1. For designers to better understand the impact of material selection, the understanding of recycling limits through a Recyclability Index that accounts for the embodied energy and processability of materials has been identified as a R&D need. AM polymeric and metallic materials of greatest interest to industry should be targeted for this effort.

2. To increase the availability of design and production material options, design and development of materials that offer improved recyclability is also needed. Incorporating these characteristics into tools such as integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) will further increase the sustainability of AM. Successful projects that address this topic area are anticipated to reduce the life-cycle energy through increased recycling of materials and reduce cost through the ability to reuse/recycle materials and parts.

b) Gradient and Tailored Materials: Limited capabilities exist today for integrating different properties and functionality within a single part or build volume, with significant limitations on material properties that can be created with current materials options. An R&D need has been identified for the development of metallic and/or polymeric complex parts created with gradient and tailored materials properties within one part/build that may be accomplished by varying process parameters or the use of different feedstock materials. Successful projects that address this topic area are anticipated to offer an increased return on investment (e.g., elimination of post-processing coating applications or assembly/bonding of parts) and creation of tailored material properties through the support and development of new, advanced applications for advanced applications.

III. Process and Equipment

a) Next Generation Machine: Opportunities are available for the development of the next generation of AM equipment. An R&D need is the improvement of existing AM equipment to achieve a significant improvement in two (or more) aspects, such as speed, resolution or batch volume. This would provide an advantage for equipment and part manufacturers and lower the barriers of entry to multiple markets.

b) Multiple Materials Processing Equipment: Integrated electronics within AM parts may be a significant advancement for the industry, but has not yet been sufficiently developed for commercialization. This project technical topic would develop, demonstrate, and transition equipment for the production of polymeric parts with embedded electronic components (such as sensors and other components) for advanced product markets.

c) Energy Self-Monitoring Additive Manufacturing Equipment Systems: Many AM processes have wasted process energy that contributes to the overall energy cost of a manufacturing operation. Manufacturers have little knowledge of the energy impacts of changing from traditional manufacturing processes to AM processes. This topic will address the opportunities to develop methods for equipment to self-monitor energy consumption. In addition, methodologies for reducing energy usage of AM equipment will be important to further widespread adoption.

IV. Qualification and Certification

a) Non-Destructive Evaluation of Complex Geometries: Commercially available, and potentially emerging, non-destructive evaluation (NDE) techniques for complex geometries need to be defined for AM to assure end-user and customer confidence of the quality of finished, high-value AM components. The focus of this technical topic is the integration of existing NDE techniques or development of new in-situ sensing capabilities or post-process techniques to measure, monitor, and take action on complex AM/3DP build geometries and/or features.

V. Knowledgebase Development

a) Process/Properties Validation Data Set: A national repository of data on process/material property information is needed. NAMII is currently developing the framework for capturing data of relevance to the AM industry. To incentivize materials/process data creation and sharing, a knowledgebase is under development. The focus of this technical topic is the development of round robin collaborative testing of materials/processes that have high relevance to industry and high-market potential, and to contribute the resulting data to the NAMII knowledgebase. Materials of interest include polymers, metals, ceramics, and other materials relevant to industry needs and growing AM markets.

The NAMII Project RFP process is open to all organizations as long as they are partnered with a NAMII member and the NAMII member submits the proposal on behalf of that project partnership/collaboration as the lead proposer.

An e-mail notice of intent to submit from the lead proposer of the project team is requested no later than Friday, September 27, 2013, to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and should include the proposed topics(s)/subtopic(s).

All proposals are due by Friday, October 31, 2013. Submissions must be presented by e-mail to the technical contact listed below with “NAMII PROJECT PROPOSAL” as the Subject line. E-mail submissions to:

Rob Gorham
NAMII Deputy Director – Technology Development
National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

All submissions will be acknowledged by a return e-mail confirmation from NCDMM.

The anticipated start date of the second set of projects is January 2014.

For more information, visit: www.namii.org/project-call-2

Published in NAMII

Competitions are being launched to create three new manufacturing innovation institutes with a Federal commitment of $200 million across five Federal agencies – Defense, Energy, Commerce, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.  To build off the initial success of a pilot institute headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio, the President announced in the State of the Union that his administration would move forward and launch three new manufacturing innovation institutes this year.

The President’s manufacturing agenda starts with his vision for a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).  The President’s FY14 Budget includes a $1 billion investment at the Department of Commerce to create the NNMI, a model based on approaches that that other countries have successfully deployed.  Each institute would serve as a regional hub designed to bridge the gap between basic research and product development, bringing together companies, universities and community colleges, and Federal agencies to co-invest in technology areas that encourage investment and production in the U.S.  This type of innovation infrastructure provides a unique ‘teaching factory’ that allows for education and training of students and workers at all levels, while providing the shared assets to help companies, most importantly small manufacturers, access the cutting-edge capabilities and equipment to design, test, and pilot new products and manufacturing processes.

The Department of Defense will lead two of the new Institutes, focused on “Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation” and “Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing”, and the Department of Energy will be leading one new institute on “Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing”.  

All three institutes will be selected through an open, competitive process, led by the Departments of Energy and Defense, with review from a multi-agency team of technical experts.  Winning teams will be selected and announced later this year.  Federal funds will be matched by industry co-investment, support from state and local governments, and other sources.  Like the pilot institute, these Institutes are expected to become financially self-sustaining, and the plan to achieve this objective will be a critical evaluation criterion in the selection process.  DOD and DOE are opening the competition for the three new institutes immediately.

Technology Areas for New Institutes:

Consistent with existing authority, Federal agencies have selected technology areas that have broad commercial applications but meet critical mission needs.  The selected technology areas also build off existing multi-agency priority initiatives like the Materials Genome Initiative.  The three topic areas are:

  • Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation: Advanced design and manufacturing tools that are digitally integrated and networked with supply chains can lead to  'factories of the future' forming an agile U.S. industrial base with significant speed to market advantage. A national institute focusing on the development of novel model-based design methodologies, virtual manufacturing tools, and sensor and robotics based manufacturing networks will accelerate the innovation in digital manufacturing increasing U.S. competitiveness.

  • Lightweight and Modern Metals Manufacturing: Advanced lightweight metals possess mechanical and electrical properties comparable to traditional materials while enabling much lighter components and products. A national institute will make the U.S. more competitive by scaling-up research to accelerate market expansion for products such as wind turbines, medical devices, engines, armored combat vehicles, and airframes, and lead to significant reductions in manufacturing and energy costs.

  • Next Generation Power Electronics: Wide bandgap semiconductor based power electronic devices represent the next major platform beyond the silicon based devices that have driven major technological advances in our economy over the last several decades.  Wide bandgap technology will enable dramatically more compact and efficient power electronic devices for electric vehicles, renewable power interconnection, industrial-scale variable speed drive motors and a smarter more flexible grid; in addition to high-performance defense applications (e.g. reducing the size of a sub-station to a suit case).

Pilot Institute

In August 2012, the Administration announced the winner of an initial $30 million Federal award to create a pilot institute, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII).  Headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio, NAMII consists of a consortium of manufacturing firms, universities, community colleges, and non-profit organizations primarily from the Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia ‘Tech Belt’.  NAMII was selected from amongst twelve teams from around the country that applied for the award.  The members of NAMII will co-invest $40 million against the initial Federal award.

For more information, visit: www.manufacturing.gov

Published in White House

SparkFun Electronics is excited to announce the company's inclusion in a new educational initiative between the state of Vermont and For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics. The groundbreaking pilot program, which is currently in place at 10 Career and Technical Education institutions, offers a $3,000 grant from the state of Vermont to each participating program.

The first $1,000 of the grant is allocated to a SparkFun Inventor's Kit LabPack, which includes 10 complete Inventor's Kits, plus 10 more Arduino Uno boards, Baseplates, Circuit Overlays, Breadboards and Kit Guides. The LabPacks are SparkFun's classroom entry point and combine its ProtoSnap, LilyPad, Inventor's Kits or Arduino-compatible through-hole soldering kits with support materials, bringing all the power of the open source community to the classroom.

The remaining $2,000 of the grant provides a portion of the fees required for a school to institute a FIRST Robotics program. FIRST was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills. Currently, there are approximately 300,000 K-12 students who participate in FIRST Robotics teams and annual competitions around the country. The grant will help offset the starting cost a school needs to join the program.

"To me, the Arduino is becoming the backbone for product development," said Douglas Webster, CTE Coordinator for the Vermont State Department of Education, who worked with SparkFun's Department of Education to create the grant program. "We were trying to get CTE centers on board to be thinking 'robotics/automation/integration of technologies' and Arduino training is a step in that direction. The impact Arduino has on the Maker movement, product development and inspiring youth to become engaged in STEM education is largely untapped. It made sense to offer one grant to purchase kits for both Arduino and FIRST."

State support for the grant program also shows a significant increase in the scope of understanding about the need to facilitate a new generation of STEM education, with a parallel understanding of robotics and electronics innovation and an open source approach to both.

"It gets the state on board promoting emerging technologies within our schools. STEM education buzz to date has meant strengthening mathematics and science. But with standardized tests and other initiatives, the system has been playing that game for decades and has shown little results," Webster said. "By supporting enabling technologies that engage youth in creating and innovating – and the integration of the arts – we may yet see an impact on test scores. However, is it test scores we really care about, or is it the innovation? I'd say inventiveness, creation and a renewed culture of innovation. We have too many problems to solve and now, not later."

"What's really interesting for us is how Vermont is introducing this highly-successful FIRST system, which traditionally is not open-source, while concurrently introducing the open-source model [of SparkFun]," said Jeff Branson, one of SparkFun's educational outreach coordinators. "Introducing them together shows a depth of understanding about the value of open source - not only its intellectual value, but its fiscal value as well - that we haven't seen before."

SparkFun's Department of Education is dedicated to improving the interest and diversification in the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics fields by encouraging kinesthetic and tangible learning with affordable, accessible and relevant technologies.

For more information, visit: learn.sparkfun.com or www.usfirst.org

Published in SparkFun Electronics

The Lemelson Foundation announced it is awarding more than $24 million to two organizations in order to inspire and educate the next generation of inventors with the knowledge and skills necessary to transform their ideas into inventions and those inventions into enterprises that improve lives and stimulate the economy.

The Lemelson-MIT Program, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) – a network of nearly 200 colleges and universities – will each receive slightly over $12 million in core programming support over four years to fund their work.

“Over the years, we’ve seen that student inventors are capable of creating compelling solutions to address the challenges we face in the modern world. We’re harnessing the creativity of young inventors and helping them move their technologies from idea to reality. Supporting the expansion of robust innovation ecosystems and learning opportunities in higher education is critical to generating career opportunities for emerging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) graduate students, commercialization returns for universities, and economic growth for the U.S. economy. Our work with The Lemelson Foundation and the work of other Foundation grantees, including the Lemelson-MIT Program, enables us to engage emerging innovators and bridges that gap,” says Phil Weilerstein, Executive Director of the NCIIA.

“Our founder, Jerome Lemelson, understood that invention is a core driver of economic and social prosperity. We were established under his belief that the next generation of inventors could be equipped to maintain and enhance the US economy by providing them with the STEM knowledge and hands-on training to turn their ideas into inventions that drive commercial outcomes. Organizations like the Lemelson-MIT Program and NCIIA are well positioned to take Jerome Lemelson’s vision and translate that into practical outcomes,” says Carol Dahl, Executive Director of The Lemelson Foundation.

The Lemelson-MIT Program: Celebrating innovation, inspiring youth

Established by Jerome Lemelson and his wife Dorothy in 1994, the Lemelson-MIT Program works to celebrate outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. The recent grant from The Lemelson Foundation will continue support for annual awards, including the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize which recognizes outstanding mid-career inventors – such as 2012 Lemelson-MIT Prize winner Stephen Quake, whose biomedical discoveries and breakthrough technologies have allowed others to engage in scientific discovery and the prototyping of new biomedical devices quicker and easier. Lemelson-MIT Prize winners also serve as role models for the next generation of inventors.

In addition to the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the program awards prizes to promising collegiate inventors, and helps empower teams of high school students – called InvenTeamsÔ – to create technological solutions to real-world problems through the application of STEM knowledge.

“Engaging young people in creative thinking, problem-solving and hands-on learning in STEM is essential to inspire students to pursue the inventive careers that the US economy needs,” says Joshua Schuler, Executive Director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. “The InvenTeams experience encourages collaboration among students, and professionals from industry and academia to understand not just the technological requirements for their inventions, but how to design technologies that serve the user’s needs, often with the users themselves. Students gain the necessary skills to be competitive and successful in their education and careers. Most of all, they learn the invention process and are well-positioned for future opportunities, such as those offered by NCIIA and beyond.”

NCIIA: Helping university inventors bring concepts to commercialization

Established in 1995 with support from The Lemelson Foundation, the NCIIA catalyzes positive social and environmental impact through invention and technological innovation by providing funding, training and mentoring for university faculty and student innovators. With support from The Lemelson Foundation, the National Science Foundation and a membership of nearly 200 colleges and universities from all over the United States, the NCIIA engages approximately 5,000 student entrepreneurs each year, leveraging their campuses as working laboratories for invention and innovation and incubators for businesses, and ultimately helping them to bring their ideas to market.

“NCIIA is at the leading edge of entrepreneurship education; funding, supporting and training faculty and student innovators in higher education and beyond. Through our E-Team program and the funding we provide faculty for courses and programs, NCIIA is strengthening the innovation economy by cultivating inventors and providing resources and opportunities to catalyze their success.” says Weilerstein.

For more information, visit: web.mit.edu/invent or www.nciia.org



Published in Lemelson Foundation

Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) today announced its Mentor® Embedded Nucleus® Innovate Program designed to help businesses with less than $1M in annual revenue kick start their embedded development projects. Qualified companies can accelerate their embedded system development with software provided at no cost, including the Nucleus Real Time Operating System (RTOS), the popular Sourcery™ CodeBench GNU toolchain, and an ARM-based board support package (BSP) supporting Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) Stellaris ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers.

“The Nucleus Innovate Program is another great offering for our customers and a valuable reason why they are making the switch to TI’s Stellaris Cortex-M4F microcontrollers,” said Matt Muse, general manager of Stellaris Cortex-M MCUs, Texas Instruments. “The software package will benefit many small businesses reaching new markets and new customers, and we’re happy Mentor and Stellaris can help them achieve those goals.”

The Nucleus Innovate Program is ideal for applications where small footprint, high-performance, and low power matter. Customers using 32-bit single core or dual core processors, as well as MCUs can use the Nucleus RTOS and Mentor Embedded tool capabilities. Easy-to-use demonstrations and configurations help shorten development time for medical, industrial, automotive and consumer applications—from days to minutes.

“The Nucleus Innovate Program demonstrates our shared commitment with leading semiconductor partners to promote embedded product innovation, particularly within start-ups and other small companies,” stated Scot Morrison, general manager of runtime solutions, Mentor Graphics Embedded Software division. “The advantage to start-up companies is that they can feel confident that their products are being developed with proven tools used by major global companies.”

For more information, visit: go.mentor.com/innovate

Published in Mentor Graphics

On November 27, 2012, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute announced its initial request for proposal (RFP) from NAMII members for applied research projects.

The NAMII Project RFP process is open to all organizations as long as they are partnered with a NAMII member and the NAMII member submits the proposal on behalf of that project partnership/collaboration.

The NAMII Project Call RFP is limited to three technical topic areas. Proposals from NAMII members can address one or more technical topic areas, but must address all evaluation criteria.

  • Materials Understanding and Performance: Understanding material properties and characteristics to enable expected performance are key to the wide-scale industry adoption of additive manufacturing. Specific focus areas include development of materials database design for capturing broad sets of test results; design-allowable properties for materials; data access and sharing platform; methods to manage materials variability; and identification of material requirements and gap analysis. All efforts should focus on expediting the transition and qualification of materials and material systems for additive manufacturing to establish a seamless path from materials requirements to process capability.

  • Qualification and Certification: Testing, qualification, and certification methods and systems that enable the rapid deployment of additive manufacturing products are critical to additive manufacturing adoption. Specific focus areas include methods for rapid qualification and certification; innovative technology approach to qualification and certification; leveraging of modeling and simulation; quantification of process variability; identification of variability reduction to increase reliability, process optimization, and rate increases; and certification of suppliers.  All efforts should focus on elimination of barriers and reduction of time to market related to qualification and certification of products.

  • Process Capability and Characterization/Process Control: A comprehensive understanding of the relationship between process parameters and the resulting product will advance additive manufacturing processes to deliver this breakthrough technology. Specific focus areas include process repeatability and throughput improvement; development of algorithms for modeling expected outcomes; improved part quality; and in-situ adaptive control systems.  All efforts should focus on process improvements to encourage adoption of additive manufacturing technology.

For more information, visit: www.namii.org/projects

Published in NAMII

Four projects have been funded by the Composites Growth Initiative (CGI) of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) that will help grow the market for composites and allow them to compete on a level playing field with traditional materials like steel, concrete, wood and aluminum.

CGI committees are comprised of industry leaders exclusively from ACMA-member companies who lend their expertise to market growth and expansion for composites. ACMA members get access to potential customers and project leads. The CGI Fund provides the means of implementing these ideas into action.

“Funding these projects is one of ACMA’s investments in the future to help build and secure a vibrant, expanding market for composites,” says Leon Garoufalis, president and COO of Composites One, LLC, and co-chair of the CGI Committee. “The quality and breadth of the submissions was impressive. We believe that the selected projects will help to advance the industry by addressing three critical areas: increasing market outreach, developing standards and specifications and penetrating new and emerging markets.”

The projects funded were as follows:

Market Outreach: Taking Composites to End Users

  • Exhibit at the International Bridge Conference. The Federal Public Transportation Act of 2012 (MAP 21) is paving the way for composites to become the material and product of choice for transportation structures repair and replacement. The Transportation Structures Council has exhibited at this leading industry conference for 13 years. This grant will ensure their continued presence and support their efforts to educate this market about the benefits of composites for transportation infrastructure.

Standards and Specification: Leveling the Playing Field with Traditional Materials

  • Recommended Practice and Guide Specification for Architectural Fiberglass Products. Architects, building engineers, construction specifiers, general contractors and others will be able to confidently recommend composites in place of traditional materials in the architectural and building segments. The third printing of this critical document will include new information and updates.

  • National Specifications for Utility and Communication Structures. Greater acceptance of composites across the utility industry and in government agencies will be possible with an ACMA/ANSI approved standard for utility poles. The standard will help establish guidelines for specifiers that will enable more widespread purchasing of composite poles.

Penetrating New and Emerging Markets: The Promise of “Green” Growth

  • Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) Tool to Calculate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Traditional materials are already establishing their environmental impact in competition for “green” contracts, but composites lags behind in this burgeoning market. This tool will take the data established in phase 1 with the development of LCI data and make it accessible and usable to members allowing them to calculate LCA for their products.

The CGI committees were established to help fulfill ACMA’s Mission Statement to “increase awareness of potential market advantages of utilizing composite materials.” Membership and participation in CGI committees are open only to ACMA members.

Representing more than 3,000 companies, the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) is the world's largest trade group representing the composites industry, providing strong, proactive leadership in technical, government and regulatory affairs. In the U.S. alone, the composites industry employs about 550,000 people and generates almost $70 billion in revenues per year.

For more information, visit: www.acmanet.org

Published in ACMA

Business Secretary Vince Cable today announced a £60m investment in UK universities to help our most pioneering scientists and engineers create successful businesses from their research, improve industrial collaboration and foster greater entrepreneurship.

The announcement was made, during Global Entrepreneurship Week, at a visit to the London studios of university spin-out company Space Syntax, an SME which uses advanced urban modelling techniques to design better cities and public spaces such as the redevelopment of Trafalgar Square in London and the replanning of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

The funding comes from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the UK’s main funding agency for scientific research. They will award ‘Impact Acceleration Accounts’ ranging from £600,000 to £6m to 31 universities across the UK.

It will help support universities’ best scientists and engineers to deliver greater collaboration with industry, bridge the gap between the lab and the marketplace and help them become better entrepreneurs.

The Business Secretary said: "The UK’s scientists are some of the most innovative and creative people in the world, but they need support to take their best ideas through to market. This could be by establishing a successful, technology-driven SME like Space Syntax which I visited today.

"This investment I’m announcing today will help our leading universities become centres of innovation and entrepreneurship, generating commercial success to fuel growth."

The funding will support the very early stage of turning research outputs into a commercial proposition – the 'Valley of death' between a research idea and developing it to a stage where a company or venture capitalist might be interested. It will also allow universities to fund secondments for scientists and engineers to spend time in a business environment: improving their knowledge and skills and returning to the lab with a better understanding of the way companies operate and the challenges they face.

EPSRC chief executive Professor Dave Delpy said: "The research we support is recognised as outstanding on the international stage. These awards aim to make a step change in the impact that has on society: generating new business opportunities which drive economic growth, creating better, more informed, public policy."

They will help companies to engage with research projects at an earlier stage and benefit from research breakthroughs and the fundamental knowledge they generate. The funding will be used to support partnerships with SMEs and larger companies and take some of the risk out of their investment.

For more information, visit: www.epsrc.ac.uk

Published in EPSRC

The Manufacturing Technology Department at Westfield Vocational Technical High School, Westfield, Mass., has been named a model school by the SME Education Foundation through its PRIME (Partnership Response in Manufacturing) program. Westfield is one of nine exemplary schools in eight states where funding is being directed to support manufacturing education.

The PRIME designation comes with a three-year commitment by the SME Education Foundation to provide assistance in creating and fostering strong partnerships with the local manufacturing base to provide job shadows, mentoring and internships. In addition, as a PRIME school, Westfield Vocational Technical High School will receive funds totaling $35,000 for three years to support post-secondary scholarships, equipment upgrades, continuing education for instructors and a STEM-based camp for middle school students.

PRIME, a community-based approach to manufacturing education, is part of a commitment by the SME Education Foundation to address the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. Launched in 2011, with the selection of six schools in six different states, model schools funded by PRIME offer STEM-based curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and prepare young people for highly skilled jobs with lucrative potential. One of the richest sources of employment and economic growth will be jobs requiring a solid STEM education.

“The high schools we’ve selected as PRIME exemplary schools are collaborating, networking, and creating partnerships with local manufacturers and community colleges,” says Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation. “Our intent is to change outdated perceptions of manufacturing and the careers it offers."

The Manufacturing Technology Department at Westfield Vo-Tech will use a majority of the PRIME funding to upgrade its precision manufacturing equipment which is to include a portion of the cost for training for a new Robotic Training Arm. The school’s state-of-the-art Manufacturing Technology Department has over eighty pieces of equipment and includes a Precision Tool Room Lab, a million dollar Advanced Manufacturing Lab and a state-of-the-art Computer Aided Design (CAD) Lab.  

Manufacturing Technology Department Chair, Clement “Clem” Fucci, says, “Our school recently celebrated its 100th Anniversary and our students and our Manufacturing Instructors, Gary Nadeau, Ron Nadeau and Lyle Washington are extremely proud of what we have been able to accomplish. Our small class size offers individualized instruction and attention and a Co-operative Education program offers students on-the-job training while still in school."

The course of study is often referred to as a basic engineering course and offers a variety of career opportunities for both females and males. Students can enter a well-paying manufacturing job in industry, a Community College, a Technical College, or pursue a four-year degree in Mechanical or Manufacturing Engineering. An articulation agreement with the State of Massachusetts allows students to pursue two-year or four-year degrees at Springfield Technical Community College or Holyoke Community College.  

By midterm of their freshman year, studies rotate weekly, with students in the classroom for academics in the first week and in a manufacturing environment for hands-on training in the second week to apply what they’ve learned. When they become a senior, they are ready to move into a technical manufacturing job while continuing to pursue their studies.

Career fairs and field trips provide opportunities for a first-hand look at the many levels of career opportunities in advanced manufacturing. Westfield Vo-Tech will be offering scholarships to students who are pursuing an associates degree in mechanical technologies as well as an engineering degree.

In addition to Westfield Vocational Technical High School, Westfield, Mass., PRIME sites for 2013 include: Alabama: Calera High School, Calera, Ala., California: Esperanza High School, Anaheim, Calif.; Petaluma High School, Petaluma, Calif.; Indiana: McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology, Indianapolis, Ind.; Iowa: Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Michigan: Jackson Area Career Center, Jackson, Mich.; Ohio: Centerville High School, Dayton, Ohio, and Wisconsin: Bradley Technical High School, Milwaukee, Wis.

To-date, the SME Education Foundation has provided funding of more than $285,000 through PRIME to model high schools to help manufacturing and its advanced technologies drive the economic vitality of local communities. This initiative builds on a five-year, $5.2 million investment in their STEM based manufacturing education workforce development programs.

For more information, visit: www.smeef.org/programs/detail/prime

Published in SME

Northwest Nazarene University’s new engineering program received an equipment grant from Hewlett Packard (HP) today that allows for creation of a 3-D design, visualization and prototyping lab. This groundbreaking, high-tech lab will allow NNU students to incorporate HP’s leading-edge hardware and software into an innovative engineering curriculum.

This state-of-the-art test bed for applying HP’s latest computing, scanning and printing technology will be integrated into a truly modern engineering education at NNU.

Features of the lab allow students to:

  • Utilize Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), modeling, visualization and prototyping tools with a 3-D design theme throughout all four years of the BS in engineering degree program.
  • Quickly and inexpensively translate their new creations from the realm of their own imagination to actual fabricated objects and products that can be tested and refined.
  • Gain more in-depth learning and understanding of design through improved visualization, tactile manipulation and rapid turnaround prototyping of student designs.
  • Give rise to new, innovative undergraduate research and design projects through collaboration with HP and other local and regional high-tech companies.

“Engineering design is an integral part of any engineering program,” said Dan Lawrence, chair of the NNU department of physics and engineering. “It is where we start and finish all our students. Whether learning the basics of computer-aided design or putting a senior design project together, this laboratory will give our students the best tools available to achieve excellence in their endeavors,”

The lab will roll out in two phases, the first of which will begin by the end of 2012 and the second for the 2013-14 school year.

Other highlights of the lab’s capabilities include:

  • Open-source 3-D printers and rapid prototyping of plastic and metal parts to check form, fit and functionality
  • 3-D scanning of objects for the purpose of replication and reverse engineering
  • Large format engineering 2-D printing
  • 3-D numerical modeling and finite element simulation
  • 3-D video and solid model animation and rendering capability for fast design iteration

“Supporting growth and development of the engineering programs in our local universities and colleges is critically important to developing the technical talent pool in the valley, and it also creates more opportunities and options for our local high school graduates looking to pursue a technical career path,” said Jim Nottingham, vice president for HP, Boise. “We believe that providing these schools with world-class technology from HP will enhance the quality of education and ultimately the caliber of technical graduates from these programs.”

NNU students, as well as visiting K-12 student from the Treasure Valley, will be able to gain critical hands-on experience in sophisticated 3-D engineering technology. The learning lab will also contribute to NNU’s new engineering program achieving initial ABET accreditation in 2014. NNU currently offers engineering physics, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering specializations with over 60 students enrolled.

For more information, visit: www.nnu.edu

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has been granted $292,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to partner SME Student Chapters with existing Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) at universities nationwide.

IAC assessments focus on industrial energy conservation techniques through energy audits and assessments of manufacturers. This grant broadens the program to assess manufacturing processes for energy savings.

Starting this year, SME will partner with six universities, incrementally expanding the program over the next three and a half years. In total, SME will partner with all 24 IACs participating in the DOE program, providing invaluable hands-on industry experience for future manufacturing professionals.

“SME’s student members are the future manufacturing workforce, and engaging them with the IACs across the country will provide them with critical skills and training while producing real cost savings for small to mid-sized manufacturers.” said Joe LaRussa, director of membership. “This program typifies how SME, industry and government can collaborate to strengthen manufacturing as a critical component of the U.S. economy.”

University-based IACs across the country provide students with critical skills and training to conduct energy assessments in a broad range of facilities. SME faculty advisors will work directly with IAC directors to guide the students during the assessment process.

Since 1981, the IACs have performed nearly 15,000 assessments containing more than 117,000 recommendations. Industry assessments have resulted in energy savings of saved 530 trillion Btu (British thermal units) or more than $5.6 billion. More information on Industrial Assessment Centers can be found on their website.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events, magazine, publications and online training division, Tooling U, SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technologies and to the most up-to-date manufacturing processes. SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of chapters and technical communities. A 501(c)3 organization, SME is a leader in manufacturing workforce development issues, working with industry, academic and government partners to support the current and future skilled workforce.

For more information, visit: www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/tech_deployment/iacs.html

Published in SME

Students at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, will have unprecedented access to world-class animation and modeling software thanks to a gift, valued at $21.7 million, from Autodesk, a leading global developer of 3D design, engineering and entertainment software.

This is the first time Autodesk has provided full access to its top products through a grant of software to a college or university. The gift -- the largest ever at Penn State Behrend -- will give students access to three key software packages: Education Master Suite, which includes advanced 3D CAD and engineering analysis tools; Simulation Moldflow, a fast, accurate and flexible design tool for plastic injection molding; and Entertainment Creation Suite, which was used to animate the last 17 films that won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.

Faculty members in the college's School of Engineering and professors in chemistry, psychology, game design and management information systems already are using the software, which is available at more than 950 computer workstations on campus. Every student and faculty member at Penn State Behrend has access to it.

Students also can become certified in Autodesk Simulation Moldflow by taking an exam that will be administered annually on campus.

"Graduates of Penn State Behrend and its School of Engineering have enjoyed a rich employment track record, and with access to this software, they will be even better positioned for success," said Ralph Ford, director of the School of Engineering. "This gift will also support the future growth of Penn State Behrend as we develop new interdisciplinary programs that fuse the humanities, the arts and advanced digital technologies."

The Autodesk products will jump-start the college's digital arts, media and technology initiative, which blends film and video game development with other advanced simulation work. Penn State Behrend's K-12 STEM outreach efforts, including the Math Options, Upward Bound and Women in Engineering programs, also will use the software.

"Partnering with Penn State Behrend allows us to put sophisticated simulation software into the hands of future engineers, scientists and artists," said Tom Cameron, vice president of manufacturing sales at Autodesk. "This significant partnership reinforces our commitment to providing students and educators with the resources they need to inspire the next generation of professionals."

The Autodesk gift also advances the University's current fundraising campaign, For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students. That initiative is the most ambitious in Penn State's history, with a goal of securing $2 billion by June 2014.

For more information, visit: psbehrend.psu.edu

Published in Penn State

Innovation in additive manufacturing technologies, which have the potential to change the face of manufacturing across the globe, is to be boosted through £7 million of new Government investment in research and development, Universities and Science Minister David Willetts announced today.

Grants for collaborative R&D projects in additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, will be awarded through an open competition to be managed by the Technology Strategy Board, the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council.

David Willetts said:
“3D printing technologies offer huge potential for UK businesses to compete successfully by embracing radically different manufacturing techniques that could be applied across a wide variety of global market sectors, from aerospace to jewellery.

“We believe this new investment will help UK companies make the step change necessary to reach new markets and gain competitive advantage. Building on £20 million of previous Technology Strategy Board support for additive manufacturing innovation, it will help secure more of this game-changing high value activity for the UK, driving economic growth and enhancing quality of life.”

Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, added:
“We are delighted that this important initiative is supported by three research councils. By working together to stimulate innovation in this exciting and challenging area, we aim to accelerate the transition from fundamental research to the creation of new design, production and supply chain competences, capitalising on work we have previously funded. We want to make the UK a world leader in 3D printing. We are setting our sights high.”

The ‘Inspiring New Design Freedoms in Additive Manufacturing’ competition is focused mainly on innovations to help businesses bring components and consumer items made by additive manufacturing more quickly to market. It aims to help innovative UK companies take the next steps to accelerating the adoption of additive manufacturing technologies, overcome remaining technical barriers and explore new business models.

The competition will open on December 3, 2012 and further information will be available at the end of October.

For more information, visit: www.innovateuk.org

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced today that its Paramount advanced manufacturing team has received a $2.95M award to transition specially engineered materials and the company’s Selective Laser Sintering technology to the production of various components in the F-35 and other weapons systems to improve affordability and sustainability. The 2 year project will reduce cost within the manufacturing process and leverage the freedom of design inherent in 3D printing to minimize waste and validate direct manufacturing’s repeatability and accuracy of aerospace parts.

3D Systems’ Paramount team offers world-class AS9100C and ISO9001:2008 certified rapid product development and manufacturing.  Paramount was chosen on competitive merit by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s scientific and technology experts after demonstrating the required technology and manufacturing readiness levels to transition into production.

“This contract represents our commitment to the research, development and commercialization of rapid manufacturing solutions for the aerospace and defense industries,” said Jim Williams, Managing Director, Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing, 3D Systems.  “The success of this project will benefit all industries, particularly aerospace and motorsports applications, where high strength to weight, high temperature and electrically conductive thermoplastics are critical factors to the design and manufacturing process.”
 
For more information, visit: www.paramountind.com

Published in 3D Systems

Engaging young Americans in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) continues to be a key strategy to maintaining the United States' position as a global leader. Yet a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce found that nearly half of the U.S. workforce — women — continues to be a minority in STEM fields, holding less than 25 percent of jobs. The same report found that women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering.

The Lemelson-MIT Program is helping to address this gender gap, awarding — based on technical merit — three all-girl schools up to $10,000 in grant funding as part of the 2012-2013 InvenTeam initiative. Sixteen teams total comprised of students, teachers and mentors will pursue year-long invention projects that address real-world problems. Now in its 10th year as a national grants program, InvenTeams aims to inspire a new generation of inventors by engaging participants in creative thinking, problem-solving and hands-on learning in STEM.

"The gender gap within STEM fields can be attributed, in part, to the need for more female role models in related careers," said Joshua Schuler, executive director of the Lemelson-MIT Program. "Hands-on learning programs that reach young women and men, like Lemelson-MIT's InvenTeam initiative, ensure that we continue to grow our future pool of science and technology leaders and icons."

Proposed by public, private, charter, and home-based school teams from around the country, this year's inspiring InvenTeam projects include the invention of a life jacket for prolonged search and rescue, a bacteria-powered battery and an ozone water purification system. Through the InvenTeam process, students develop leadership, teamwork and technical building skills, while engaging with professionals from industry and academia in their communities as they develop their invention. Through their InvenTeam experiences, Students gain the skills necessary to be competitive and successful in both their education and careers.

"This year's projects, from inventions for environmental sustainability to those for health and safety, show that young Americans are not just motivated to invent, but are committed to improving the lives of others through invention," said Leigh Estabrooks, the Lemelson-MIT Program's invention education officer. "Our goal with InvenTeams is to help inspire both men and women to be future inventors."

Meet the 2012–13 InvenTeams

A respected panel of invention and academic leaders from MIT, the Lemelson-MIT Program, industry and InvenTeam student alumni selected the InvenTeams from a national pool of applicants. The 2012–13 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams and their proposed inventions are:

East

  • ACTS Home Education Cooperative (Charlottesville, Va.): Wind turbine for traffic airflow capture
  • Beaver Country Day School (Chestnut Hill, Mass.): Automated robotic vehicular independence system
  • Ella T. Grasso Southeastern Technical High School (Groton, Conn.): Compost water heating system
  • John P. Stevens High School (Edison, N.J.): Life jacket for prolonged search and rescue
  • Nashua High School North (Nashua, N.H.): Bacteria-powered battery
  • Natick High School (Natick, Mass.): Ice search and rescue remotely-operated vehicle
  • Newton North High School (Newton, Mass.): Pedestrian alert system
  • Sturgis West Charter Public School West (Hyannis, Mass.): Marine mammal rescue transporter
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (Alexandria, Va.): Emotive aid for combating autism

Central

  • LEARN Science and Math Academy (Kansas City, Mo.): Radio frequency identification system for medicine tracking
  • St. Ursula Academy (Toledo, Ohio): Pill dispensing organizational system

South

  • Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders (Austin, Texas): Pressurized produce preserver

West

  • Colfax High School (Colfax, Calif.): Construction layout tool
  • Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona (Phoenix, Ariz.): Drowning prevention device
  • Henry M. Gunn High School (Palo Alto, Calif.): Solar egg incubator
  • Los Alamitos High School (Los Alamitos, Calif.): Ozone water purification system

In June 2013, the 2012-2013 InvenTeams will showcase their projects at EurekaFest, the Lemelson-MIT Program's public, multi-day celebration of the inventive spirit at MIT.

Calling all young inventors

The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam application for the 2013–14 school year is now available. Teams of high school students, teachers and mentors are encouraged to apply.

For more information, visit: web.mit.edu/inventeams

Published in Lemelson-MIT

NASA is seeking applications from graduate students for the agency's Space Technology Research Fellowships. Applications will be accepted from students pursuing or planning to pursue master's or doctoral degrees in relevant space technology disciplines at accredited U.S. universities. The fellowship awards, worth as much as $68,000 per year, will coincide with the start of the fall 2013 term.

The fellowships will sponsor U.S. graduate student researchers who show significant potential to contribute to NASA's strategic space technology objectives through their studies. To date, NASA has awarded these prestigious fellowships to 128 students from 50 universities and across 26 states and one U.S. territory.

"NASA's Space Technology Program is building, testing and flying the technologies required for NASA's missions of tomorrow," said Michael Gazarik, director of the Space Technology Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "With new technologies and innovation, astronauts will be able to travel safely beyond low Earth orbit and new science missions will make amazing discoveries about our universe. These fellowships will help create the next generation of highly skilled workers needed for NASA's and our nation's future, while motivating careers in science and technology that will lead to sustainable, high-tech jobs while America out-innovates the world."

Sponsored by NASA's Space Technology Program, the continuing goal of the fellowships is to provide the nation with a pipeline of highly skilled researchers and technologists to improve U.S. technological competitiveness. Fellows will perform innovative space technology research while building the skills necessary to become future leaders.

The deadline for submitting applications is Dec. 4.

For more information or to submit applications, visit: go.usa.gov/YDJW

Published in NASA

If the outlook of U.S. manufacturing is dependent on the quality of its future workforce, the view from Indianapolis certainly looks bright. With one school heading into its second year of national recognition via SME Education Foundation’s Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education (PRIME) program, and a second ready to begin its first, the city is poised to be a major contributor to the manufacturing talent pool.

3M awarded Walker Career Center and McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology a $10,000 grant per school to fund the programs. "We think that the grant is a fantastic opportunity for both programs to grow their classroom experiences and to engage those students that aren't sure if PLTW is the right program for them.  Our bigger opportunity is determining the methods that allow us to share our career experiences with the future workforce that these wonderful programs are developing. The vision we have for this partnership includes volunteering in the classroom where possible; manufacturing site tours to engage the students in what careers are available, including the faculty and students in new equipment installations to expose them to new technologies; and developing projects or challenges that allow the students to develop innovative solutions to real world problems.  We look forward to this journey with both Walker and Mckenzie's PLTW programs," said Robert Hoffman, Plant Manager 3M Aerospace.

The PRIME program was launched in fall 2011 in six states including Indiana. PRIME is designed to create strong partnerships between exemplary schools, businesses and organizations. Schools are nominated and selected based on a set of criteria including: an exemplary manufacturing curriculum which offers technology-based courses including Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM); skilled and dedicated instructors and administrators; engaged and active students; and strong corporate support from the local manufacturing community.

Walker Career Center (now entering its second year as PRIME) and McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology (a new PRIME school for 2012-2013) meet all of the above criteria. Said Bart Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation, “PRIME is an integral part of our investment in STEM education. The program is specifically designed to target three critical areas of focus: transforming manufacturing education, changing public perception of manufacturing and addressing the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. We feel that our investment in both of these schools will go a long way toward helping us to achieve these goals. We couldn’t be more impressed with the staff, the curriculum and the enthusiasm of the students. The pledge of support from 3M makes it all possible.”

The funding from 3M will help both schools to update equipment and software, provide professional development for instructors, support their further involvement in competitions, provide scholarships for post-secondary education and host technology-based summer day camps.

Both of the schools implement a STEM-based approach guided by the Indianapolis-based Project Lead The Way (PLTW) curriculum to prepare students for post-secondary opportunities. Science, technology, engineering and mathematic content are embedded throughout its courses with emphasis placed on reading and writing in all career areas.

The manufacturing labs and curriculum were designed in cooperation with industry partners. Students have access to state-of-the-art equipment that meets or exceeds industry standards along with the latest technologies. Each facility provides students interested in engineering and manufacturing with hands-on design experience and a competitive edge for work or degree programs after high school.

“The continued support from the SME Education Foundation and 3M will take our program to the next level by providing our students with the real-world engineering and manufacturing knowledge they will need to be successful, contributing members of our community,” said Lou Anne Schwenn, director, Walker Career Center. “The PRIME program exemplifies the idea that cooperation between schools, corporations and the communities they serve is beneficial for all.”

For more information, visit: www.smeef.org

Published in SME

The Thiel Foundation announced today three new grants awarded through Breakout Labs, its revolutionary revolving fund to promote innovation in science and technology. The newest awards focus on solutions at the intersection of biology and advanced technologies.

Breakout Labs recipient Modern Meadow is developing a fundamentally new approach to meat and leather production that is based on the latest advances in tissue engineering and causes no harm to animals. Co-founders Gabor and Andras Forgacs respectively invented and helped commercialize bioprinting, a technology that builds tissues and organ structures based on the computer-controlled delivery of cells in three dimensions. They previously co-founded Organovo, a San Diego-based regenerative medicine company which applies bioprinting to a range of medical applications, including drug discovery, drug testing and ultimately transplant tissues. With Breakout Labs funding, they plan to apply the latest advances in tissue engineering beyond medicine to produce novel consumer biomaterials, including an edible cultured meat prototype that can provide a humane and sustainable source of animal protein to consumers around the world.

“Breakout Labs is a much-needed source of funding and support for emerging technologies like ours,” said Andras Forgacs. “Investors across the board have become more risk-averse and yet early funding is critical to enable truly innovative ideas. We are proud to be a part of the Breakout Labs program.”

“Modern Meadow is combining regenerative medicine with 3D printing to imagine an economic and compassionate solution to a global problem,” said Lindy Fishburne, Breakout Labs’ executive director. “We hope our support will help propel them through the early stage of their development, so they can turn their inspired vision into reality.”

Additional Breakout Labs grants were awarded to Bell Biosystems and Entopsis. Bell Biosystems is developing a technology that can be introduced into therapeutic cells to track them using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) instruments. Entopsis is developing a low-cost, versatile, nano-engineered platform for diagnosing multiple diseases from a single sample.

Launched in November 2011, Breakout Labs provides teams of researchers in early-stage companies with the means to pursue their most radical goals in science and technology. To date Breakout Labs has awarded a total of nine grants, of up to $350,000 each. Breakout Labs accepts and funds proposals on a rolling basis.

Previous grants, announced in April 2012, have been awarded to companies working on brain reconstruction, reversible cryopreservation, human cell re-engineering, universal airborne contaminant detection, artificial protein therapeutics, and antimatter based fuel.

“People used to dream about how innovation would make the future a radically better, more advanced place,” said Jonathan Cain, president of the Thiel Foundation. “By funding unusual approaches to known challenges, such as conflict over food prices or the diagnosing and curing of diseases, we hope that Breakout Labs helps bring about the sort of technologically prosperous world that people once imagined possible.”

For more information, visit: www.BreakoutLabs.org or www.gust.com/c/modern_meadow

Published in Breakout Labs

The Department of Energy today announced that 19 transformative new projects will receive a total of $43 million in funding from the Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to leverage the nation’s brightest scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs to develop breakthrough energy storage technologies and support promising small businesses. These projects are supported through two new ARPA-E programs -- Advanced Management and Protection of Energy Storage Devices (AMPED) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) – and will focus on innovations in battery management and storage to advance electric vehicle technologies, help improve the efficiency and reliability of the electrical grid and provide important energy security benefits to America’s armed forces.

“This latest round of ARPA-E projects seek to address the remaining challenges in energy storage technologies, which could revolutionize the way Americans store and use energy in electric vehicles, the grid and beyond, while also potentially improving the access to energy for the U.S. military at forward operating bases in remote areas,” said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. “These cutting-edge projects could transform our energy infrastructure, dramatically reduce our reliance on imported oil and increase American energy security.”

Twelve research projects are receiving $30 million in funding under the AMPED program, which aims to develop advanced sensing and control technologies that could dramatically improve and provide new innovations in safety, performance, and lifetime for grid-scale and vehicle batteries. Unlike other Department of Energy efforts to push the frontiers of battery chemistry, AMPED is focused on maximizing the potential of existing battery chemistries. These innovations will help reduce costs and improve the performance of next generation storage technologies, which could be applied in both plug-in electric and hybrid-electric vehicles. For example, Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, will develop an optical sensor to monitor the internal environment of a lithium-ion battery in real-time.

ARPA-E is also announcing a total of $13 million for seven projects to enterprising small businesses to pursue cutting-edge energy storage developments for stationary power and electric vehicles.  These projects will develop new innovative battery chemistries and battery designs, continuing ARPA-E’s funding for storage technologies.  These awards are part of the larger Department-wide Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.

For more information, visit: arpa-e.energy.gov/Portals/0/Documents/Projects/AMPED_SBIR_Project%20Descriptions_FINAL_8%201%2012.pdf

Published in Department of Energy

NASA's Space Technology Program is turning science fiction into science fact. The program has selected 28 proposals for study under the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program.

Eighteen of these advanced concept proposals were categorized as Phase I and 10 as Phase II. They were selected based on their potential to transform future aerospace missions, enable new capabilities, or significantly alter and improve current approaches to launching, building and operating aerospace systems.

The selected proposals include a broad range of imaginative concepts, including a submarine glider to explore the ice-covered ocean of Europa, an air purification system with no moving parts, and a system that could use in situ lunar regolith to autonomously build concrete structures on the moon.

"These selections represent the best and most creative new ideas for future technologies that have the potential to radically improve how NASA missions explore new frontiers," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "Through the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program, NASA is taking the long-term view of technological investment and the advancement that is essential for accomplishing our missions. We are inventing the ways in which next-generation aircraft and spacecraft will change the world and inspiring Americans to take bold steps."

NIAC Phase I awards of approximately $100,000 for one year enable proposers to explore basic feasibility and properties of a potential breakthrough concept. NIAC Phase II awards of as much as $500,000 for two years help further develop the most successful Phase I concepts and analyze their potential to enable new or radically improved future NASA missions and potential applications with benefits for industry and society.

"We're excited to be launching Phase II, allowing the 2012 NIAC portfolio to feature an exciting combination of new ideas and continued development of last year's Phase I concepts," said Jay Falker, NIAC program executive at NASA Headquarters.

NASA solicited visionary, long-term concepts for technological maturation based on their potential value to NASA's future space missions and operational needs. These projects were chosen through a peer-review process that evaluated their innovation and how technically viable they are. All are very early in development -- 10 years or longer from use on a mission.

NASA's early investment and partnership with creative scientists, engineers, and citizen inventors from across the nation will provide technological dividends and help maintain America's leadership in the global technology economy.

The portfolio of diverse and innovative ideas selected for NIAC awards represent multiple technology areas, including power, propulsion, structures, and avionics, as identified in NASA's Space Technology Roadmaps. The roadmaps provide technology paths needed to meet NASA's strategic goals.

NIAC is part of NASA's Space Technology Program, which is innovating, developing, testing, and flying hardware for use in NASA's future missions. These competitively-awarded projects are creating new technological solutions for NASA and our nation's future.

For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/early_stage_innovation/niac/niac_2012_phaseIandII_awards.html

Published in NASA

Innovation requires latitude to experiment and freedom to explore without fear of failure. Strategic innovation requires experimentation with a purpose. Every year since 2006, DARPA has awarded grants to promising academic scientists, engineers and mathematicians to foster strategic innovation in a defense context and, in the process, enhance basic research at colleges and universities throughout the United States. Under the auspices of the Young Faculty Awards (YFA) program, DARPA hopes to develop the next generation of researchers in key defense-related disciplines and encourage them to focus a significant portion of their careers on defense issues.

This year DARPA welcomes 51 recipients, hailing from 18 states and 34 academic institutions, who will each apply $300,000 grants over two years to a wide spectrum of basic research in areas spanning physical sciences, materials, mathematics and biology. Though the sponsored research is not expected to feed directly into DARPA programs, faculty and projects are selected in part for their potential to seed future breakthroughs in defense-related research areas. In fact, members of the 2006-2010 YFA classes participate in 27 recent or ongoing DARPA programs.

The leeway granted to YFA recipients to pursue innovative ideas is given in recognition of the fact that technological breakthroughs often result from cross-collaboration among disciplines and operating outside of commonly accepted disciplinary boundaries. YFA is designed to support that business model.

Ideas nurtured through YFA have shaped research in six DARPA programs to date, on top of their contributions to advancing basic science. At the same time, grant recipients experience professional benefits in their academic careers.

A record 560 researchers applied to YFA in 2012, marking a 38% increase over the 2011 applicant pool; applicants represented 46 states and territories, and 150 universities. DARPA selected 51 applicants to receive grants totaling approximately $15.3 million, representing the largest class of awardees since the program began. Each grant recipient will receive approximately $150,000 per year for two years.

A complete list of the 2012 Young Faculty Award recipients and research topics is available at: go.usa.gov/Gxc

Published in DARPA

Imagine being able to design a new aircraft engine part on a computer, and then being able to print it. Not the design – the actual part. And not just a lightweight, nonfunctional model, but an actual working part to be installed in an engine.

The University of Dayton Research Institute was awarded $3 million from the Ohio Third Frontier to provide specialized materials for use in additive manufacturing – the science of using computer printers to create three-dimensional, functional objects. The University of Dayton Research Institute will work with program partners, Stratasys of Eden Prairie, Minn., and PolyOne and Rapid Prototype Plus Manufacturing Inc. (RP+M) of Avon Lake, Ohio, to develop aircraft-engine components for GE Aviation – who also collaborated on the program proposal – as well as parts and components for ATK Aerospace Structures, Boeing, Goodrich, Honda, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

While traditional paper printers use a moving toner cartridge head to form lines of text, adding row upon row of toner as the paper moves through the printer, 3-D printing works much the same way. Instead of toner, however, a free-moving printer head precisely deposits layer upon layer of plastic or other material to create a solid object from the bottom up.

3-D printing technology has existed for about 20 years, but additive manufacturing in its current form is only about five years old, said Brian Rice, head of the Research Institute's Multi-Scale Composites and Polymers Division and program lead for the Third Frontier-funded Advanced Materials for Additive Manufacturing Maturation program.

"The difference is that 3-D printing is known in the industry as being used for nonfunctional prototypes or models, while additive manufacturing is being used to create usable parts for industries such as aerospace, energy, medical and consumer products," Rice said.

Additive manufacturing, which made headlines this month in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today and was named number one in Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine's May list of "Top Technologies to Watch," is a rapidly growing manufacturing technology being touted for its cost savings and waste reduction. By 2015, the sale of additive manufacturing products and services worldwide is expected to grow to $3.7 billion from $1.71 billion in 2011, according to independent consultants Wohlers Associates.

There are a number of advantages to additive manufacturing over traditional manufacturing, such as injection molding or machining, Rice said.

"Cost savings is a major benefit, because there are no molds or tooling needed to fabricate parts. With traditional manufacturing, every time you want to make even a slight change to the design of what you are making, you have to retool or make an entirely new mold, and that gets very expensive. With additive manufacturing, you can change your design as often as you want simply by changing the design on your computer file. "You can't make complex parts with injection molding," Rice added. "And because you can print an entire part in one piece with additive manufacturing, instead of welding or attaching separate components together as in traditional manufacturing, the finished part is stronger."

Additive manufacturing holds additional benefits, said Jeff DeGrange, vice-president of Stratasys, which owns an industrial line of additive manufacturing machines that will be used to print components for end users.

"It's better for the environment because it reduces waste," DeGrange said. "With additive manufacturing, you only use as much material as you need for the part you're printing. But with machining, you're shaping objects by removing material from a larger block until you have the desired form, so there is a good bit of wasted material."

Additive manufacturing eliminates the need for bolts, screws and welding and, in some cases, reinforced polymers can be used to replace heavier materials, DeGrange added.

"Lighter parts mean greater fuel efficiency in vehicles and aircraft that use them. Another advantage is the cost savings that comes from a print-as-needed process, because you don't need to ship parts or find a place to warehouse them," he said.

3-D printers can use polymer, metal or ceramic feedstock, but our focus will be on polymers, which is already a major manufacturing industry in Ohio, according to Rice.

"UDRI has developed a highly specialized nanomaterial that will reinforce the polymer feedstock, giving the finished product greater strength and stiffness than nonreinforced polymer. It will also make the polymer electrically conductive," he said.

PolyOne will scale-up the polymer feedstock needed for mass manufacturing, Stratasys will support the inclusion of new materials in their additive manufacturing systems, and RP+M will use its expertise in additive parts manufacturing to work with Stratasys to print and supply parts to end users, Rice said.

"We've created an entire supply chain designed to create Ohio jobs," Rice said. "We expect this program to result in the creation of 30 high-tech jobs in Ohio during the first three years and 85 jobs after five years."

The Research Institute will use part of the Third Frontier award to purchase a 3-D printer to demonstrate the technology, and the University of Dayton School of Engineering, which recently purchased a similar machine, will provide hands-on opportunities for engineering students to become involved.

"They will focus on research into new materials and innovation in additive manufacturing," Rice said. "It's a boost for our program, and it will also provide those students with skills that will help them secure high-tech manufacturing jobs after graduation."

For more information, visit: www.udayton.edu

Published in University of Dayton

The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University today announced that it has received a $2.6 million contract (including option) from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a smart suit that helps improve physical endurance for soldiers in the field. The novel wearable system would potentially delay the onset of fatigue, enabling soldiers to walk longer distances, and also potentially improve the body’s resistance to injuries when carrying heavy loads.

Lightweight, efficient, and nonrestrictive, the proposed suit will be made from soft wearable assistive devices that integrate several novel Wyss technologies. One is a stretchable sensor that would monitor the body’s biomechanics without the need for the typical rigid components that often interfere with motion. The system could potentially detect the onset of fatigue. Additionally, one of the technologies in the suit may help the wearer maintain balance by providing low-level mechanical vibrations that boost the body’s sensory functions.

The new smart suit will be designed to overcome several of the problems typically associated with current wearable systems, including their large power requirements and rigid overall structures, which restrict normal movement and can be uncomfortable.

While the DARPA project is focused on assisting and protecting soldiers in the field, the technologies being developed could have many other applications as well. For instance, similar soft-wearable devices hold the potential to increase endurance in the elderly and help improve mobility for people with physical disabilities.

Wyss Core Faculty member Conor Walsh, Ph.D., will lead this interdisciplinary program, which will include collaborations with Core Faculty member Rob Wood, Ph.D., and Wyss Technology Development Fellow Yong-Lae Park, Ph.D., for developing soft sensor technologies, and with Core Faculty member George Whitesides, Ph.D, for developing novel soft interfaces between the device and the wearer. Wood is also the Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Whitesides is also the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard. Sang-bae Kim, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Ken Holt, PT, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Boston University’s College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, will also play key roles on the project.

Also working on the project will be several members of Wyss’ Advanced Technology Team who will provide expertise in product development to ensure the rapid completion of prototypes. They will oversee the testing of prototypes in the Wyss Institute’s biomechanics lab, using motion capture capabilities that can measure the impact of the suit on specific muscles and joints.

"This project is a excellent example of how Wyss researchers from different disciplines work side by side with experts in product development to develop solutions to difficult problems that might not otherwise be possible," said Wyss Founding Director Donald Ingber, MD, Ph.D.

For more information, visit: wyss.harvard.edu

Published in Harvard

There’s a lot to be said for the road that is taken—it’s safe, it’s well lit, and you probably know where it leads. Rarely does an opportunity present itself to leave the road entirely and venture off in search of new vistas. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) seeks trailblazers to explore the unknown in the areas of visual and geospatial data analysis. Researchers will participate in a short-fuse, crucible-style environment to invent new approaches to the identification of people, places, things and activities from still or moving defense and open-source imagery.

“A lot can happen when you put seriously intelligent, seriously motivated people in a room with a mission and a deadline,” said Michael Geertsen, DARPA program manager and the force behind the Innovation House Study. “We are inviting a new generation of innovators to try out ideas in an environment that encourages diverse solutions and far-out thinking. If this model proves to be as successful as we believe it could be, it represents a new means for participating in Government-sponsored research projects.”

DARPA’s Innovation House Study, conducted with George Mason University in Arlington, Va., will provide a focused residential research environment for as many as eight teams. Interested team leaders are encouraged to submit proposals by July 31, 2012, detailing their plan to design, execute and demonstrate a radical, novel research approach to innovation in the area of extracting meaningful content from large volumes of varied visual and geospatial media. Selected teams will receive up to $50,000 in funding.

The Innovation House concept revolves around a collaborative, rather than competitive, environment. The study will run for eight weeks over two four week sessions from Sept. 17, 2012 to Nov. 9, 2012. In Phase I, teams are expected to produce an initial design and demonstrate in software the crucial capabilities that validate their approach. In Phase II, teams are expected to complete and demonstrate a functional software configuration as a proof of concept. Teams demonstrating sufficient progress in Phase I will receive Phase II funding.

DARPA will provide access to unclassified data sets and facilitate interaction with mentors from U.S. Government and academia. These interactions will provide teams with context for how their proposed technology could be applied in the realworld.

For more information, visit: c4i.gmu.edu/InnovationHouse

Published in DARPA

Goodrich Foundation has awarded Workshop for Warriors (WfW) in San Diego, Calif. $100,000 to support its program that provides job training and skill certification to U.S. veterans at no cost to students. WfW provides training in welding, milling and machining for wounded, homeless veterans and service men and women about to transition out of active duty into civilian life. Thousands of veterans are expected to end their military careers over the next several months as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down.

"One area of our giving focus at Goodrich is to honor the men and women who serve their country in the armed forces," said Marc Duvall, president of Goodrich's Aerostructures business. "Enabling Workshops for Warriors to provide much-needed job training to veterans one of the best ways that we as a company can tell our veterans, 'Thank you for your service.'"

Many returning veterans will come through San Diego on their way back to their hometowns, making Workshops for Warriors ideally located to assist them with their career transitions. In addition to helping veterans establish careers in an extremely tight job market, the program also benefits the country.

"America is hungry for manufacturing employees; there are more than two million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. right now," Hernan Luis y Prado, president Workshops for Warriors said. "Hiring our graduates is a win-win for this country and the people who served it. We want to be a major driver for retraining the world's greatest fighting force into the world's most modern manufacturing force."

Last month, Luis y Prado was recognized as a "Champion of Change" for establishing Workshops for Warriors and his dedication to helping members of the armed forces.

The Goodrich Foundation grant will be used to hire additional instructors in order to increase the number of graduates from Workshops for Warriors. The organization currently has a 100 percent job placement rate for its students.

This is the second Goodrich Foundation grant for the organization. In late 2011, WfW received a $25,000 grant to help it establish its curriculum. In addition, Goodrich Aerostructures business in Chula Vista, Calif., has donated nearly $1 million in equipment and materials to help WfW build out its class offerings.

Goodrich Foundation is the charitable arm of Goodrich Corporation (NYSE: GR). The Foundation provides support to selected charitable institutions in Goodrich's United States headquarters and plant communities.

Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a global supplier of systems and services to the aerospace and defense industry.  With one of the most strategically diversified portfolios of products in the industry, Goodrich serves a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and service facilities.

For more information visit: www.workshopsforwarriors.org or www.goodrich.com

Published in Goodrich Corporation

As part of the Obama Administration’s blueprint for an American economy built to last, the Energy Department today announced new investments that support American leadership and global competiveness in manufacturing. The Energy Department awarded more than $54 million – leveraging approximately an additional $17 million in cost share from the private sector – for 13 projects across the country to advance transformational technologies and materials that can help American manufacturers dramatically increase the energy efficiency of their operations and reduce costs. These projects will develop cutting-edge manufacturing tools, techniques, and processes that will be able to save companies money by reducing the energy needed to power their facilities. These projects are a part of the Administration’s strategy for investing in emerging technologies that create high-quality domestic manufacturing jobs and enhance the competitiveness of U.S. companies in today’s global markets.

“By investing in breakthrough technologies that can drastically reduce the amount of energy consumed during manufacturing, the Energy Department is supporting President Obama’s blueprint for an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, and skills for American workers,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “When it comes to clean energy, our motto should be: ‘Invented in America, made in America, and sold around the world.’ The projects announced today will improve the competitive position of U.S. industry and help manufacturers produce more while saving energy, saving money and protecting our air and water.”

As President Obama made clear in his State of the Union address, an economy built to last depends largely on American manufacturing and American energy.  With sustained job growth for the first time since the 1990’s and the addition of nearly 500,000 jobs over a little more than two years, the American manufacturing sector has begun to rebound. At the same time, the U.S. reclaimed the position as the world’s leading investor in clean energy and has nearly doubled clean, renewable energy use in the country over the past few years. To continue this progress, President Obama has called on Congress to extend the clean energy manufacturing tax credits that have helped create jobs and maintain America’s competitive edge in this multi-trillion dollar global industry.

Today’s awards build on that foundation. Manufacturing is so central to the American economy that industrial processes consume about one-third of all energy produced in the United States, representing a huge opportunity to boost American competitiveness through advances in energy-saving technologies.

From improving manufacturing processes that reduce the energy needed to make components for aircraft and vehicles, to lowering the production costs of carbon fiber for a wide range of clean energy products, these projects represent a major investment in the solutions that will transform energy-intensive manufacturing technologies and materials used by industry here in the U.S. The results of these projects could produce large improvements in energy productivity, reduce pollution, and boost product output, while creating jobs and helping American companies expand export opportunities globally.

Each project will advance technologies early enough in their development cycles to permit the full scope of their technical benefits to be shared across a broad cross-section of the domestic economy. Collectively, these projects are part of the Obama Administration’s effort to support the creation of good jobs by helping U.S. manufacturers reduce costs, improve quality, and accelerate product development. By strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing, these projects will help lay a foundation for an American economy built to last.

The projects selected for awards include:

  • Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. – Allentown, PA - $1,200,000
  • American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) – Salt Lake City, UT - $7,120,000
  • Delphi Automotive Systems, LLC – Rochester, NY - $3,700,000
  • General Motors LLC – Warren, MI - $2,672,124
  • Lyondell Chemical Company – Newtown Square, PA - $4,500,000
  • MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc. – St. Peters, MO - $3,680,000
  • MIT – Cambridge, MA - $1,000,000
  • PolyPlus Battery Company – Berkeley, CA - $8,999,920
  • Research Triangle Institute – Research Triangle Park, NC - $4,800,000
  • Teledyne Scientific and Imaging – Thousand Oaks, CA - $2,110,000
  • The Dow Chemical Company – Midland, MI - $9,000,000
  • The University of Utah – Salt Lake City, Utah - $1,460,285
  • Third Wave Systems, Inc. – Minneapolis, MN - $4,069,882

A full list of project descriptions, visit: www.eere.energy.gov/pdfs/imi_project_descriptions.pdf

Published in Department of Energy

NASA is accepting proposals until June 29 for the mini-grants component of the agency's 2012 Summer of Innovation (SoI) project.

Proposals may be submitted through the National Space Grant Foundation for NASA-themed content in a variety of programs geared toward middle school students. The foundation is administering the grant program for NASA.

Mini-grants are designed to engage a wide variety of education partners – such as museums, schools or school districts, and youth organizations – to infuse science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) content in existing summer and after-school student programs. The maximum award value for each 2012 mini-grant is $2,500.

"This is an outstanding opportunity for a diverse group of organizations to work with NASA and share STEM learning through summer and after-school activities," said Leland Melvin, associate administrator for education at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Even non-traditional providers like church groups and Girl Scout troops can join the NASA team and help us fuel students' curiosity about exploration."

In 2011, 180 mini-grants were awarded in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to organizations including museums, non-profit organizations, public schools and youth organizations. This year, NASA anticipates making approximately 200 awards.

For more information, visit: soi.spacegrant.org/about

Published in NASA

John F. McDonnell and the James S. McDonnell (JSM) Charitable Trust have made a $1 million gift commitment to the National Academy of Engineering's Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) program, a symposium series dedicated to strengthening the engineering and innovation capacity of the nation by catalyzing a vibrant community of emerging engineering education leaders.

"Engineering education is critical to building our national capacity for engineering innovation," said McDonnell.  "We are pleased to support Frontiers of Engineering Education, which brings together some of our best educators to become a force for teaching and inspiring a new generation of innovative U.S. engineers."

The annual symposium series began in 2009; this year's symposium will be held Oct. 14-17 in Irvine, Calif.  Each year, a select number of engineering faculty are chosen to participate from a pool of candidates nominated for their demonstrated educational innovations by engineering deans or National Academy of Engineering members.  FOEE participants present their approaches to classroom, laboratory, project, experiential, and computer-based teaching and learning during sessions moderated by experienced "coaches" from university and industry.  They also discuss the context and forces that should shape 21st-century engineering and engineering education.

“The mission of FOEE is to strengthen the engineering capability of the nation,” said NAE President Charles Vest.  “And it is gifts such as this that allow us to bring together skilled engineering education pioneers to inspire innovation."

John F. McDonnell spent more than 35 years at McDonnell Douglas Corp., serving as CEO from 1988 to 1994 and chairman of the board from 1988 until 1997.  He oversaw the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing and retired from the Boeing board of directors earlier this year.  McDonnell has served on numerous civic boards and as chairman of the boards of Washington University in St. Louis, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and the Saint Louis Science Center.  He is also the founding chair of BioSTL and BioGenerator, nonprofits which provide funding and support to St. Louis-based researchers, entrepreneurs, and young companies in the life sciences.  McDonnell made his commitment as a member of the National Academies Presidents' Circle, an advisory and philanthropic group whose members are from business and industry.

The National Academy of Engineering, an independent, nonprofit organization, was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers.  Part of its mission is to advance the well-being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshalling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. NAE along with the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.

For more information, visit: www.naefrontiers.org

Published in NAE

NineSigma, the leading innovation partner to companies worldwide, today launched the first open innovation social media destination, NineSights™, which is free to innovation seekers and solution providers.

NineSights is a secure and collaborative online community that connects innovators of all sizes with the resources and relationships needed to drive business value. The platform allows innovation seekers to post innovation needs and solution providers to submit proposals and post technologies and solutions that are "for sale". NineSigma ensures quality on the site by vetting both seekers and providers.

Andy Zynga, CEO of NineSigma said, "We have listened to our clients and solution providers who told us that a social media enabled platform where quality trumps quantity is what the world needs right now. As a result of this unique platform, organizations are able to make better connections faster and thus accelerate time to market."

On NineSights, users experience a streamlined innovation environment. Solution seekers from corporations, government, and nonprofit organizations can access a vetted pool of global subject-matter experts, inventors, entrepreneurs and researchers with searchable profiles highlighting their expertise. These solution providers will also find a virtual goldmine of world-class organizations committed to driving innovation forward through consultative engagements, licensing or acquisition of technologies, partnerships or investment opportunities, and more, with the associated financial rewards tied to their specific searches. The site also hosts featured "galleries" that spotlight innovation requests and technology offers from organizations like Philips, and provides forums for discussions among users.

NineSights is being launched in response to a recent NineSigma survey of professionals in a range of industries that found no innovation platform existed to effectively meet the needs of solution seekers and providers online. With NineSights, that marketplace need is being met. For solution providers, this includes exposure of their technologies, new business development opportunities, connections outside their industries, and direct access to solution seekers. Organizations reaching out to solution providers see the same benefits, particularly the opportunity to connect with others outside of a single vertical segment.

NineSights supplements NineSigma's comprehensive open innovation services, which range from global knowledge searches to helping organizations develop a culture of innovation and build the right innovation teams.

With millions of solution providers in NineSigma's network and unlimited access to innovation resources globally, the company looks forward to expanding their innovation community further on NineSights.

For more information, visit: www.ninesights.com

Published in NineSigma

NASA is seeking proposals from accredited U.S. universities focused on innovative, early-stage space technologies that will improve shielding from space radiation, spacecraft thermal management and optical systems.

Each of these technology areas requires dramatic improvements over existing capabilities for future science and human exploration missions. Early stage, or low technology readiness level (TRL) concepts, could mature into tools that solve the hard challenges facing future NASA missions. Researchers should propose unique, disruptive or transformational space technologies that address the specific topics described in this new solicitation.

"Both science and human deep space missions pose serious challenges that require new, innovative technological solutions," said Space Technology Program Director Michael Gazarik at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Radiation, thermal management and optical systems were all identified in the National Research Council's report on NASA Space Technology Roadmaps as priority research areas. This call seeks new ideas in these areas."

Space radiation poses a known danger to the health of astronauts. NASA is seeking proposals in the area of active radiation shielding (such as "shields" of electromagnetic force fields surrounding a spacecraft to block incoming radiation) or new, multifunction materials that are superior to those that exist today are sought. NASA also is interested in new technologies for active monitoring and read-out of radiation levels astronauts receive during long space trips.

Current space technology for thermal management of fuels in space is limited. NASA is seeking early-stage technologies to improve ways spacecraft fuel tanks and in-space filling stations store cryogenic (very low temperature) propellants, such as hydrogen, over long periods of time and distances. NASA also is seeking novel, low-TRL heat rejection technologies which operate reliably and efficiently over a wide range of thermal conditions.

The next generation of lightweight mirrors and telescopes requires advanced optical systems. NASA is seeking advancement of early-stage active wavefront sensing and control system technologies that enable deployable, large aperture space-based observatories; technologies which enable cost-effective development of grazing-incidence optical systems; and novel techniques to focus and detect X-ray photons and other high-energy particles.

NASA expects to make approximately 10 awards this fall, based on the merit of proposals received. The awards will be made for one year, with an additional year of research possible. The typical annual award value is expected to be approximately $250,000. Second year funding will be contingent on the availability of appropriated funds and technical progress. Only accredited U.S. universities may submit proposals to this solicitation. Notices of intent are due by June 21, 2012, with proposals due July 12.

For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/early_stage_innovation/grants/index.html

Published in NASA

“Reality” is their genre, connectivity in their DNA. The SME Education Foundation and its industry partners have a laser focus on Gen Y —72 million Americans born between 1977 and 1994 with a goal to change their perception of manufacturing and prime the pump for manufacturing careers they need to consider. The Foundation has provided $100,000 in additional funding to The Edge Factor, a film and media company that features real life manufacturing stories.

Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation says, “The response we’ve received across the board dictated our willingness to fund this media-based initiative. We believe the video series, design competition, and providing teachers with tools to reach and inspire students will greatly energize their learning experience. They need and deserve real-life, first-hand tutorials to help them make career choices.”

Edge Factor's ultimate goal: to revolutionize the stereotype of manufacturing as a "dark and dirty" industry to one that is filled with extreme technology, advanced innovations and modern, exhilarating careers for the next generation. Jeremy Bout is the Producer and President of Edge Factor, a Canadian-based company that produces three products: a HD film series called the Edge Factor Show, the Reality Redesigned student design contest, and is in development of their third product, educational resources, called EduFactor.

A majority of Gen Y engages in video games and instant messaging, is averse to taking risks, distrusts mass media, and responds to loud and quick visuals, audio and music. It favors programs and messages reflecting its lifestyles and core values, and that have humor and emotion.

Edge Factor has designed a winning customized program responding to this Gen-Y group and their core values. “This can’t be about next month’s sales figures,” says Bout. “This is about inspiration, it’s about next year’s enrollment, and in 5 years, it’s going to be your workforce. Manufacturing is more than invention; it’s the fabric that made our nation great.”

“Metal & Flesh,” the third in the series produced by The Edge Factor Show, showcases Mike Schultz and Brian Alaniz - courageous and innovative young men, each of whom when faced with the loss of a leg as a result of a calamitous accident, were challenged, able to overcome tremendous personal adversity, and today are back competing and winning titles.

Schultz, began riding snowmobiles when he was 8 years old, turned pro in 2003/2004, and signed with Warnert Racing. While battling for a transfer spot coming down a hill during a qualifying race at  a snocross competition, the machine began swaying side to side forcing him to jump off landing feet first. His knee locked straight when he hit, so it crushed the knee joint and hyper extended it. The knee joint was torn apart resulting in a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula. Mike lost his leg below the knee nearly costing him his life. In the spring when snowmobiling with his new prosthesis didn’t work out, and hearing about Adaptive Action Sports, he was inspired to design his own leg.

His design was based on the FOX mountain bike shock which is the main resistance for the knee joint. Another bike shock was designed for the foot. Mike’s custom-design weighs 13.5 pounds, has a microprocessor knee and is only 1.5 pounds heavier than the normal human leg. Later, while competing at the Snocross X Games, Mike won the Gold Metal and later, many other awards in a series of other competitions. His new company, BioDapt, Inc., is based on innovative design engineering for the knee which continues to drive his enthusiasm for competing and making a difference.

“Metal & Flesh” also features Keith Deutsch, a committed snowboarder and Iraq veteran who lost his right leg and knee in Iraq. He and his unit were ambushed, their vehicle being hit from behind by an RPG, which landed two feet away from him. He was featured in a story by Bill Redeker of ABC News while in Breckenridge, Colo. participating in an annual, week-long excursion offered by Disabled Vets USA. Outfitted with a special boot, mechanical knee (his Moto Knee) and prosthetic leg, he found he remembered how to ride. Said Deutsch, “A month and a half after I lost my leg, I was back up on snow.”

The film closes with a helicopter lift-off, and Mike and Keith moving down the mountain with a tight cut illustrating the engineering involved in the design of the leg’s joints. Parts fly apart to showcase the design, and then reassemble. The voice-over then challenges aspiring engineers, “Who will be the ones to say this idea will happen, who will be the ones to turn a dream into reality?

The second facet of this media and educational initiative is “Reality Redesigned,” a student design contest, based on the “Gnarly Metal” episode, which featured Straitline Components, a British Columbia-based manufacturer of mountain bike gear and components. The film features machining technologies supporting new designs for various elements of a mountain bike that could change the game for slopestyle riders forever. “Gnarly Metal” inspired Edge Factor to invite students to submit innovative mountain bike design ideas in one of the three categories: component, frame or suspension. Contestants were invited to submit explanations, pictures and video of their design to the Reality Redesigned contest. The top 9 winners will be awarded prizes valued at up to $40,000.

The competition for Reality Redesigned’s “People’s Choice Awards” was conducted over three successive weeks on the world’s largest mountain biking website, Pinkbike, with non-cumulative voters selected each week. Out of more than 10,000 votes cast for the top 5 designs, the people spoke: “Michael” was the winning designer for his “All Mountain Gearbox Frame,” and took home the Intense custom prize bike and Drift Camera. “Kudos to Michael, says Jeremy Bout, “for reaching out to his university peers, a body of 50,000 plus students, and having his design qualify as the top    People’s Choice Award.”

“The purpose of my design, says Michael, “was to visualize a strong, lightweight and aesthetically beautiful gearbox frame. The frame features a sealed gearbox, and 160mm travel suspension travel with a rearward arc wheel path.”

EduFactor is the third facet of the program now being developed. It will potentially provide teachers across the country with the “Metal & Flesh” video, as well as the first two Edge Factor episodes, “Chilean Mine Rescue,” and “Gnarly Metal,” to illustrate the application of design and manufacturing processes to real-life situations.

For more information, visit: www.edgefactor.com/edgefactorshow



Published in SME

SME Education Foundation (SME-EF) is pleased to announce funding of $100,000 to Project Lead The Way (PLTW) to upgrade Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) laboratories at 20 PLTW schools. Each school will receive $5,000 toward the purchase of new equipment.

Recipients of this year’s SME Education Foundation funding include:

  • Advanced Technology Complex: Denton, Texas
  • Bonney Lake High School: Bonney Lake, Wash.
  • Cope Area Career Center: Cope, S.C.
  • Centerville City Schools: Dayton, Ohio
  • Francis Tuttle Pre-Engineering Academy: Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Garrett Morgan Academy:  Paterson, N.J.
  • Great Oaks: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Hawthorne High School of Engineering: Hawthorne, Calif.
  • Kettering Fairmont High School: Dayton, Ohio
  • Kokomo Area Career Center: Kokomo, Ind.
  • Lenawee Intermediate School District: Adrian, Mich.
  • Lewis Central High School, Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Nashua Technology Center CTE: Nashua, N.H.
  • Racine Unified School District: Racine, Wis.
  • Summit Technology Academy: Lee’s Summit, Mo.
  • Tri-Rivers Career Center: Marion, Ohio
  • Waubun High School: Waubun, Minn.
  • Wheeling High School: Wheeling, Ill.
  • Wilson School District: West Lawn, Pa.
  • W. J. Keenan High School: Columbia, S.C.

Since 2006, PLTW and SME-EF have been working together to engage more students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. In 2010, SME-EF donated $815,000 to implement the Gateway Academy at 250 schools—a summer program designed to inspire middle school students to learn more about innovation and STEM-related fields. The donation also helped upgrade CIM course equipment in 50 high schools. A $400,000 donation in 2011 upgraded an additional 80 PLTW schools’ CIM laboratories. The newest round of funding completes CIM upgrades at 165 schools and brings SME Education Foundation’s total commitment to PLTW to more than $5.4 million over the last six years.

“PLTW is so very grateful for the generosity and support of the SME Education Foundation,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “The Foundation consistently makes an effort to learn about the ever-changing needs of PLTW teachers and students, and we feel extremely fortunate to have a partner so in touch with what we are doing. We look forward to many more years of working together to prepare today’s students for the global economy.”

The Foundation is also continuing its work to recruit manufacturers and local businesses to serve on advisory boards at PLTW high schools while also encouraging industry members to set up new CIM Education Centers. Advisory board members also offer mentorships and internships to PLTW students.

“It’s important for young people to find out what they’re good at,” said Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation. “Our efforts are all about paying more attention to young people in what we think is a critical time in their educational life, giving them career opportunities by developing their skills in advanced manufacturing.”

The first CIM laboratories were introduced and funded by SME-EF at pre-existing PLTW schools in Charlotte, N.C. and Lee’s Summit, Mo. Funded states now include: Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

Said Aslin, “Companies are re-evaluating their competitive positions and are clear about the lack of skilled workers their need to expand and innovate. For the worker, it’s personal. It’s all about initiative. Their job security, quality of life, education and future job prospects for their children are at risk. We are funding these and other technology-based programs to give students, at all economic levels, an opportunity to become technically skilled with the ability to think beyond the world they live in, and learn how to innovate and create. That’s the job of an engineer.”

Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education curricular programs used in schools. As a 501(c) (3) charitable organization, PLTW exists to prepare students for the global economy through its world-class curriculum, high quality professional development, and an engaged network of educators, students, universities and professionals. For more information, visit: www.pltw.org.
                                                                                  
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. For more information, vist: www.smeef.org.

Published in SME

The White House announced a new $14.2 million effort at the Department of Energy to accelerate the development and deployment of stronger and lighter materials for advanced vehicles that will help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, save drivers money, and limit carbon pollution.  This funding will support the development of high-strength, lightweight carbon fiber composites and advanced steels and alloys that will help vehicle manufacturers improve the fuel economy of cars and trucks while maintaining and improving safety and performance.

“By investing in next-generation vehicle materials and components, we are helping U.S. manufacturers improve the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks and ensuring American companies remain at the cutting-edge of the global auto industry,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu.  “Lighter, stronger materials will help improve the performance of our vehicles while saving families and businesses money at the pump.”

Replacing cast iron and traditional steel components with lightweight materials – including advanced high-strength steel, magnesium, aluminum, and polymer composites - allows manufacturers to include additional safety devices, integrated electronic systems and emissions control equipment on vehicles without increasing their weight.  Using lighter materials also reduces a vehicle’s fuel consumption.  For example, reducing a vehicle’s weight by 10 percent can improve the fuel economy by 6 to 8 percent.

The Energy Department intends to fund projects across three major areas of materials research and development, including developing modeling tools to deliver higher performing carbon fiber composites and advanced steels, as well as researching new lightweight, high-strength alloys for energy-efficient vehicle and truck engines.

The specific research areas include:

  • Predictive modeling of carbon fiber composites:  Carbon fiber composites are capable of reducing vehicle component weight by up to 50 percent over conventional automotive steel structures. Projects selected in this area will validate modeling tools to optimize the performance and cost-effectiveness of carbon fiber composite materials for vehicle body, chassis, and interior uses.

  • Predictive modeling of advanced steels:  Advanced high strength steels are capable of reducing vehicle component weight by more than 25 percent. Projects selected in this area will develop modeling tools to optimize the performance and cost-effectiveness of third-generation high strength steels for the vehicle body and chassis.

  • Advanced alloy development for automotive and heavy-duty engines:  As manufacturers continue to push the limits of engine efficiency, cast engine components must be strong enough to withstand higher cylinder pressures.  Projects selected in this area will develop low-cost, high-strength alloys for automotive and heavy duty engine blocks and cylinder heads.

The Energy Department will make up to $8.2 million available in fiscal year 2012 for selection under this funding opportunity announcement, and subject to congressional appropriations, the Department plans to make an additional $6 million available in fiscal year 2013 to fully fund these advanced materials projects, which will take 2-4 years to complete.

The Department will accept applications from industry, national laboratories, and university led-teams to address these challenges and enable technologies that will drive innovation in vehicle design.  Applications for the solicitation are due May 7, 2012.

For more information and application requirements, visit: eere-exchange.energy.gov

Published in Department of Energy

NASA is seeking proposals from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of outstanding early career faculty beginning their independent careers. This inaugural Space Technology Research Opportunities for Early Career Faculty solicitation seeks to sponsor research in specific, high priority technology areas of interest to NASA.

Specific topic areas were selected because they can best benefit from early stage innovative approaches provided by U.S. academic institutions. The research will investigate unique, disruptive or transformational space technologies or concepts.

"NASA is committed to ensuring our nation's intellectual capital pipeline remains the best in the world, and that we bring the brightest minds together with the best ideas to meet the challenges of NASA's future missions," said Michael Gazarik, director of NASA's Space Technology Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "These grants offer a means for NASA to capitalize on the tremendous creativity and innovation that these brilliant individuals have to offer."

NASA expects to award approximately ten grants this fall, funded up to $200,000 each per year, based on the merit of proposals received. Notices of intent to submit proposals are due March 30. The deadline for submitting final proposals is May 3.

For information on the solicitation, including specific technology areas of interest and how to submit notices of intent and proposals, visit: go.usa.gov/P31

Published in NASA

Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that with support from the Department of Energy, 142 small businesses around the nation are starting work this week on 180 innovative research projects ranging from designing better wind turbines to developing a chemical-free approach to killing bacteria in power plant cooling water and from developing instruments to improve nanomaterials to making new coatings to improve the efficiency of gas turbines.  These grants to small businesses - totaling $26.4 million – are developing new energy technologies that will help to grow America’s economy, create new jobs around the country and improve American competitiveness around the world.  The Energy Department’s Small Business Innovation Research program is part of the Obama Administration’s broader support for job-creating small businesses and startup companies nationwide.

“These small businesses are working to develop new technologies to bring to the marketplace, creating new jobs and potentially new industries here in America,” said Secretary Chu.  “As part of the Obama Administration’s Startup America Initiative, these innovative small businesses are helping the Department improve America’s energy security, grow our economy, and ensure U.S. companies can compete in the global economy.”

The companies will use their awards -- in amounts up to $150,000 -- over the next nine months to explore the feasibility of their innovative concepts.  They will then be eligible to compete for awards up to $1 million under a two-year, Phase II of research and development.

DOE selected the 180 projects from among nearly 1,000 Phase I proposals submitted under its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

This year’s Phase I awards to date were made in 36 technical topic areas for research supporting the Department’s diverse energy, scientific and environmental missions.  Under the STTR program, 23 of the companies are partnering with a university or DOE national laboratory to do the research.  In addition, DOE is planning on at least one more Phase I competition with another round of awards later in the year.

The full list of Phase I award winners and their projects is available at: www.science.energy.gov/sbir/awards-and-general-stats/fy-2012/release-i-phase-i-by-state

For more information about the programs, visit: www.science.energy.gov/sbir/about

Published in Department of Energy

Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI) has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the federal government.

Working in conjunction with Tinker Air Force Base, MTI will be developing methodology, processes, and analytical tools required for final machining of metallic aircraft components produced using additive metal manufacturing. The goal is to reduce qualification costs and time versus conventional manufacturing methods. In this endeavor, MTI is partnering with TechSolve, an Edison Technology Center.

As the global leader in additive metal manufacturing, Morris Technologies is ideally suited to conduct aerospace research using DMLS and EBM technologies.  "This is an important step toward helping the USAF resolve their diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages through the use of additive metal processes," says Lloyd Fields, VP of MTI's Federal Business Unit. "The SBIR program is fundamental to our advancing additive manufacturing technology."

The project is expected to take up to nine months to complete.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Morris Technologies, Inc. (MTI) has been on the cutting edge of manufacturing technologies since 1994.   MTI's heavy investment in research and development has enabled them to evolve into the global leader in additive-metal manufacturing processes and advance technologies by offering new materials and developing new hardware.  MTI also specializes in end-to-end product development, from engineering to prototyping to low-volume manufacturing.

For more information, visit: www.morristech.com

Published in Morris Technologies

The UK’s aerospace sector is set to benefit from £6 million of government investment in collaborative research and development projects that encourage innovative solutions to some of the higher-risk challenges facing the industry. The projects will develop technology that will grow the sector and give the industry a competitive advantage in the global market.

The Technology Strategy Board is to invest up to £5 million in the projects and up to a further £1m may be available from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council for projects with a significant, high-quality academic research component.

The Highly Innovative Technology Enablers for Aerospace competition for collaborative R&D funding will support and encourage business investment in technology and innovation in high-risk, high-potential approaches that may not be fundable from companies’ own resources.

The UK has the second largest aerospace industry in the world with significant capabilities in key areas such as engines, airframes structures and materials, equipment and air transport system integration. While this position has been achieved through UK businesses bringing leading-edge technologies to market, the industry faces new challenges such as globalisation, new competitors and climate change.

The continued growth of global air traffic presents an enormous opportunity for the UK through the demand for new aircraft that meet exacting environmental and operational performance standards. Meeting this demand sustainably, affordably, reliably and safely depends on continuous and intense research, innovation and technology application.

The competition opens on February 13th, 2012 and compulsory expressions of interest must be submitted by March 21st, 2012.

For more information, visit: www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/highly-innovative-technology-enablers-for-aerospac.ashx

Published in EPSRC

The University of Dayton will be part of a three-year, $2.4 million grant from the Kern Family Foundation to develop ways to educate engineers to contribute to the entrepreneurial cultures of their companies.

"We all know the term 'entrepreneur,' but we want to develop 'intra-preneurs' as well," University of Dayton Innovation Center Director Ken Bloemer said. "While entrepreneurs create their own companies, an intra-preneur works within the framework of an existing company as a change agent driving business growth."

Dayton will team with lead-partner Baylor University, University of Detroit Mercy and Villanova University, and their industry partners, to build a curriculum that will help students better understand intrapreneurship and provide hands-on opportunities to put the practice in place. Possible courses include an in-depth study of intra-preneurship, innovation in a corporate context, a seminar series, an intra-preneurship-focused opportunity evaluation and a venture-planning course and workshop.

The end goal is to form a Helping Hands Dense Network, which will change the culture in the way engineers are educated and create practicing engineering graduates who are technically competent, and innovative and business savvy.

"The Kern Family Foundation is eager to support this joint initiative of four prestigious universities that desire to work together to change engineering education for the benefit of their engineering students," said Dr. Timothy J. Kriewall, program director for the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network (KEEN) "Their graduates will be effective team players who will be entrepreneurially minded and who will be able to deploy technology to benefit people around the world."

This is the second boost for entrepreneurial education and engineering for the School of Engineering in the last year. Almost exactly a year ago, University of Dayton graduates O. Jack Anderson and his wife, Opal, gave more than $600,000 to create a new faculty position to enhance the entrepreneurial spirit among engineering students and faculty. The new fellow will lead the growing partnership between the School of Engineering and the School of Business Administration to prepare students to better design products for society. The position also will work to provide additional entrepreneurial and product design learning experiences university-wide.

University of Dayton School of Engineering Dean Tony Saliba said it's important for the University to produce engineers who embrace entrepreneurship and interact effectively with business professionals in order to develop innovations that can succeed in the marketplace.

"It's important we produce job creators rather than job seekers," Saliba said.

The Kern Family Foundation has said the University of Dayton is "best-in-class in project-based learning in engineering innovation education."

Since 1996, University of Dayton engineering students have worked on more than 600 projects for 120 clients. Seven teams of engineering students have finished in the top five of the School of Business Administration's Business Plan Competition in the four-year history of the competition. One team has taken home the top prize.

For more information, visit: www.udayton.edu

Published in University of Dayton

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is now accepting applications for the 2012 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) programs at its Gaithersburg, Md., and Boulder, Colo., campuses. The programs provide research opportunities for undergraduate students to work with internationally known NIST scientists and gain exposure to cutting-edge research.

The SURF programs are supported by the National Science Foundation, and each summer, more than 100 students spend about 11 weeks at one of the NIST sites, meeting peers and gaining valuable hands-on research experience. In 2012, NIST expects it will host approximately 78 students at Gaithersburg and about 18 at Boulder.

The fellowship programs are open to colleges and universities located in the U.S. and its territories with degree-granting programs in computer science, mathematics, materials science, chemistry, biology, engineering, and/or physics. Applications are submitted by the schools, not the students, so students wishing to participate need to contact their college or university to let them know they wish to participate.

Nominated undergraduate students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with a technical major. New applicants must be enrolled to continue their undergraduate education for fall 2011, but previous SURF participants who will graduate in spring 2011 are also eligible. Participants receive stipends and housing and travel allotments (as needed). The programs are expected to run between May and August, with some accommodations possible for alternate school schedules.

At the Gaithersburg campus, students can work in the areas of nanoscale science, engineering, computer science, mathematics, materials science, chemistry, biology, neutron research and/or physics. In Boulder, SURF students can participate in research in computer science, mathematics, materials science, chemistry, biology, engineering and/or physics.

Applications should be submitted through the Grants.gov Website under either Federal Funding Opportunity code 2012-NIST-SURF-G-01 (Gaithersburg site) or 2012-NIST-SURF-B-01 (Boulder site). Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. EST, Feb. 15, 2012, for Gaithersburg, and 5 p.m. MST for Boulder.

For more information, visit: www.nist.gov/surfgaithersburg or www.nist.gov/surfboulder

Published in NIST

Securing research funding can be a challenge for tenure-track faculty with cutting-edge ideas but few connections. Those ideas may be the breakthroughs needed to advance critical science and technologies in support of the Defense mission. For the sixth year, DARPA will invest in the next generation of rising academic stars through its Young Faculty Award (YFA) Research Announcement.

Published on Grants.gov (RA-12-12), the YFA research announcement seeks research proposals in many areas such as physical sciences, engineering, mathematics, medicine biology and social science, and new areas including, neuroscience and brain-machine interface, strongly correlated materials, predictive materials science, and new engineered materials.

YFA applicants are required to be within five years of appointment to a tenure-track position at a U.S. institution of higher education.  To increase participation and ensure that the best and brightest are eligible, regardless of national origin, in 2010 eligibility requirements for applicants were amended to include non-U.S. citizens. Selected recipients receive a 24-month grant consisting of a 1-year base period and another year option period, with a maximum funding level of $150,000 per year.

More than just a budget item or a program, DARPA’s true investment with Young Faculty Awards is in people.  In 2010, DARPA made 33 YFA awards, which have led to continuing research opportunities for 15 postdoctoral fellows, 28 graduate and 13 undergraduate students.  Since receiving their awards this class has been hard at work, filing 16 patents to date, and publishing 97 papers, with another 58 in review.

“The goal of DARPA’s Young Faculty Award program is not only to provide funding for young faculty researchers, but also to inspire them to serve their country by contributing their talents to help solve some of the most challenging problems of our time from vaccine production to cyber security,” said DARPA Director, Regina E. Dugan.

Jay Schnitzer, office director, DARPA Defense Sciences Office added, “DARPA recognizes the real need to provide research support for our most talented young scientists at a crucial phase in their career while enabling them to address riskier, more difficult research problems than they might otherwise be able to do.”

To date, YFA has provided funding nationwide to 168 recipients. DARPA uses the program to help identify outstanding junior faculty members and expose them to the DoD, its needs and DARPA’s program development process.  It combines funding, mentoring and networking early in faculty careers to help frame future research in the context of national defense.

For more information, visit: www.grants.gov/search/search.do?oppId=132953&mode=VIEW

Published in DARPA

One of 20,000 FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL®) teams around the world will win an investment prize of up to $250,000 as winner of the 2012 FLL Global Innovation Award. The award’s new “Go-To-Market Sponsor,” Edison Nation, has offered to bring the winning idea through the same product development process showcased in their Emmy® award-winning PBS television show Everyday Edisons.

"Through our EdisonNation.com platform, we're able to work with all kinds of independent inventors to help make their ideas a reality," said CEO of Edison Nation, Louis Foreman. "Our Edison Nation team is excited to work with these young FLL inventors and to leverage our industry capabilities to get their innovations to market.”

Now in its second consecutive year, the FLL Global Innovation Award encourages, celebrates, and supports youth innovation by offering 200,000 FIRST LEGO League participants the chance to compete and win support for their research projects. At the end of the FIRST LEGO League competition season, teams will be invited to submit their research ideas between January 19 and March 1, 2012, to the FLL Global Innovation Award website. A judging panel of industry leaders will review the submissions. One winning team and two runner-up winners will be named at the FLL Global Innovation Award ceremony on June 19 at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Va.

“It is innovation that changes the way we live and makes life better and more exciting,” said Founder of FIRST Dean Kamen, adding, “The FLL Global Innovation Award celebrates and encourages innovation by asking kids to think about improving their own future.”

FIRST LEGO League is one of four programs offered by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit that inspires an appreciation of science and technology in young people. FIRST issues an annual challenge to FLL teams on a real-world scientific topic comprised of three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and the FLL Core Values. This season’s theme is food safety.

For more information, visit: fllinnovationaward.firstlegoleague.org

Published in FIRST

NASA is continuing its strong support for the annual FIRST Robotics Competition, which inspires student interest in science, technology, and mathematics through a challenge to design and build a robot. The agency is awarding grants totaling $1,386,500 for student teams in 37 states to participate in FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

"NASA participation in FIRST puts us on the cutting edge with the leaders of tomorrow," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. "NASA's FIRST volunteers have given tens of thousands of students a crucial mentoring experience and helped them understand what engineers and researchers really do to mount challenging missions of robotic and human exploration. FIRST inspires students to pursue the technical careers of the future – careers that will help America send humans to Mars and reveal the unknown."

Each FIRST team receives an identical kit of parts and has six weeks to design and build a robot. Other than dimension and weight limitations and other technical restrictions, the look and function of the robot is up to each team. NASA volunteers support many teams throughout the process.

The competition is structured like a professional athletic event and teams compete in an arena the size of a small basketball court. Robots must have offensive and defensive capabilities. Teams collaborate to complete tasks, while simultaneously preventing opposing teams from completing the same activity.

This year, 45 regional competitions will take place in the U.S., along with four additional international competitions in March and April. The FIRST Championship competition will be held in St. Louis in April.

"We were pleased to see the growing interest in these engineering programs, as indicated by the increase in applications this year," said Dave Lavery, program manager for the NASA Robotics Alliance Project (RAP). "After a rigorous review process, we were able to select 241 teams for receipt of a grant award."

NASA plays a significant role in FIRST and other robotics competition programs by increasing access and encouraging young people to investigate careers in the sciences and engineering. The competitively selected cooperative agreement for the grants is funded by RAP and sponsored by the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. It is managed by the RAP Project Office at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif.

NASA founded RAP in 1995 to supply engineering expertise for robotics and engineering competition programs such as FIRST. During the past 16 years, RAP has awarded about $45 million to academic and non-profit organizations across the nation to stimulate America's intellectual capability in fields tied to robotics engineering. Each NASA center participates in RAP and also contributes its respective expertise, funding and other resources.

NASA has participated in the FIRST program since 1995, and is the largest single participant. Other participants have included Motorola, General Motors, Ford, Boeing, and Johnson & Johnson.

The FIRST program was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people, their schools and communities. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST is a non-profit organization that designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills, while motivating young people to pursue academic opportunities.

For more information, visit: robotics.nasa.gov

Published in NASA

Time waits for no one, and with an ongoing critical need for hiring skilled workers in advanced manufacturing, the Gene Haas Foundation, Oxnard, Calif., today announced another $150,000 in grant-funding to the SME Education Foundation to align machinist training with the needs of job seekers and employers in targeted local communities. This newest gift from the philanthropic arm of Haas Automation, Inc. brings their grant-funding support to the SME Education Foundation to nearly $700,000 in less than five years.

Gene Haas Foundation representative, Peter Zierhut says, “Technical skills learned through high quality, hands-on training add value to the individual, the company, state and country. The demand for skilled workers today is strong and it will continue to increase. Educating young people on the fundamentals of high-technology manufacturing is an imperative.”

The innovative approach and collaborative efforts of the two non-profits is working. Funding from the Gene Haas Foundation and other partnering organizations has allowed the SME Education Foundation to direct its grant funding to targeted areas of the country where the unemployment rate is at 8 to 12%.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “Despite the projected decline in unemployment, job opportunities for machinists should continue to be good, as employers value the wide-ranging skills of these workers. Many young people with the necessary educational and personal qualifications needed to become machinists prefer to attend college or may not wish to enter production operations. Therefore, the number of workers learning to be machinists is expected to be less than the number of job openings arising each year from the need to replace experienced machinists who retire or transfer to other occupations.”

The Gene Haas Foundation provides funding for their Gene Haas Machining Technology Scholarship which is specifically designed for students pursuing careers in machining technology or a closely related field of study. It targets the adult learner or individuals that are returning to school to learn a new skill set.

Bart A. Aslin, chief executive officer, SME Education Foundation says, “There is an urgent need and so the time is now. We have created a growing number of strong partnerships between organizations, businesses and exemplary schools to bring a comprehensive approach to manufacturing education. Our collaborative efforts with organizations like the Gene Haas Foundation in communities throughout the U.S. reflect our future funding initiatives.”

In Tennessee, with an unemployment rate of 9.7%, the SME Education Foundation has funded the integration of Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) courses at 10 high schools and provided students with access to SME Chapters and eight colleges and universities. In parallel, the Gene Haas Foundation has provided 19 students with Haas Machining Technology Scholarships.

Craig, a student at Tennessee Tech whose comments reflect the feelings of many scholarship recipients, says getting the scholarship reduced his financial burden enough to allow him to focus on continuing to improve his machining skills and buy high quality tools every serious machinist needs.

In metro Detroit, with an unemployment rate of 11.2%, and statisticians reporting even higher percentages to include those who no longer are seeking work, last year, the Gene Haas Foundation $50,000 grant to the SME Education Foundation was directed to the Gene Haas Machining Technology Scholarship at Focus: HOPE, a Detroit-based non-profit, where its Machinist Training Institute (MTI), offers students state-licensed courses in precision machining and metalworking.

Students can earn a machinist certificate and pursue careers as: automotive technicians, machine programmers, tool and die machinists, CNC programmers, computer machine technicians and utility and set-up operators. The SME Education Foundation has been able to award the overwhelming majority of their scholarship funding from the Gene Haas Foundation to organizations such as Focus: HOPE.

Since 1998, the SME Education Foundation has provided over $5.3 million dollars in financial aid through its various scholarship programs. The Foundation awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors, current undergraduates and masters or doctoral degree students pursuing degrees in manufacturing and related fields at two-year and four-year colleges.

To find out more information about SME Education Foundation scholarships and how to apply, visit: www.smeef.org/Scholarships/index.php

Information on the Gene Haas Machining Technology Scholarship is available at: www.smeef.org/Scholarships/haas_machining.php

The SME Education Foundation Online Scholarship Application will re-open mid-November for the 2012/2013 school year.

Published in SME

The Georgia Institute of Technology has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to provide manufacturing education programs to high school students.  The base development contract includes about $1 million for the first year, with the potential of $10 million over four years to expand the projects.

Georgia Tech will provide prize-based educational challenges for high school students, encouraging them to use the latest technology to design and build items such as wind-turbine blades, mobile air and ground robots and electric car bodies–hopefully inspiring the next generation of manufacturers.

The project is part of DARPA’s Manufacturing Experimentation and Outreach (MENTOR) program.  MENTOR is aimed at bolstering the U.S. manufacturing industry by sparking teens’ interest in engineering, design manufacturing, math and science-related university programs.  Georgia Tech is one of several organizations awarded a contract from DARPA to help with the initiative.

“We want to change the mindset out there about manufacturing,” said David Rosen, Georgia Tech professor of mechanical engineering and co-principal investigator on the contract.  “We’re trying to use the latest technologies to attract a new generation into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) areas and the manufacturing career field.”

Georgia Tech’s program will focus on introducing students to design and manufacturing processes by using 3-D printers and additive manufacturing.  Social media will also play a role.  Students will be able to connect via social networking sites and form teams that will compete to showcase their work.

For the first two years of the project, Georgia Tech will work to get ten high schools in Georgia involved in the program.  The goal is to expand the program to 100 high schools across the country by year three and 1,000 high schools globally within four years.

Georgia Tech will be working with key partners to make the program a reality.

Dassault Systemes, a global company specializing in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software, is providing the Georgia Tech project team with its PLM V6 academic software and its expertise in designing educational projects It is also providing user-friendly tools that will allow thousands of students across multiple sites to collaborate in a crowdsourcing fashion in design and manufacturing.

Georgia Tech is also partnering with two leading U.S. rapid prototyping providers, 3D Systems and Stratasys, which will help equip the high school teams with the latest manufacturing tools, including 3-D printers.

The program will add onto the Engineering Design Summer Camp that has been conducted for the past four years in Georgia Tech’s Integrated Product Lifecycle Engineering (IPLE) Laboratory in the School of Aerospace Engineering.

Expanding the program to hundreds of high schools could help create a resurgence of manufacturing in the U.S., researchers said.

“What we’re trying to do is make manufacturing an attractive career path,” said Daniel Schrage, professor and director of the IPLE Laboratory and co-principal investigator on the contract.  “A lot of students in college don’t look at manufacturing as the best choice of jobs; they would rather go into design or analysis.  You can have the most beautiful design, but if you cannot build it and you can’t operate it, it’s not successful. So we’re trying to change the culture from that perspective.”

Written by Liz Klipp

For more information, visit: www.ae.gatech.edu

Published in Georgia Tech

Gibbs and Associates, developer of GibbsCAM® software for programming CNC machine tools and a Cimatron company, today announced that it has granted Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) a network license of twenty-five seats of GibbsCAM software and post processor library, which, when combined with first year maintenance, which was also granted, is valued at almost $510,000. The software includes functionality to open CAD models from their native format file, modify and prepare CAD models for machining, and generate, verify, simulate and post process CNC toolpaths for up to 4-axis milling, rotary milling, and multi-axis turning. It will be used for CAD/CAM, CNC programming, and machinist apprenticeship and training classes of the NAIT School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Technology, and for its periodic GibbsCAM-only training classes, the first of which will be offered in April, 2011.

“We are grateful to Gibbs for its generous support,” said David Grabski, Associate Chair, NAIT Machinist program.  “GibbsCAM will provide our instructors the option to teach CNC programming with a system that is locally well-supported and which has a reputation for demonstrable ease of use. It will be most helpful in programming our multi-axis machining centers and dual-spindle turning centers with live tooling, where verification and machine simulation are more important.”

The NAIT Machinist program, one of the largest in North America, is conducted within the 31,000 square-foot, NAIT Sandvik Coromant Centre for Machinist Technology, which houses three machine shops, a CNC lab, two computer labs, five “smart” classrooms, and a metrology/inspection lab. It employs nearly 200 machine tools, including 24 conventional milling machines and 83 conventional lathes, and has capacity to train 1,820 students annually. The facility offers a four-year apprenticeship program (responsible for approximately 70% of Alberta’s machinist apprenticeship training); a full-time, one-year CNC certificate program; and two pre-employment machinist programs. At the core of its CNC machining programs are 36 CNCs, all made by Haas Automation. These include lathes, turning centers, dual-spindle turning centers, and vertical and horizontal machining centers.

“Because NAIT enjoys an exceptional reputation serving Canadian and international industry, we are proud to assist it with a grant of software to help machining students achieve higher levels of CNC programming faster than could be achieved with other software,” said Robb Weinstein, Gibbs’ Senior VP, Sales and Strategic Planning. “Our user base is growing rapidly in Alberta, serving oil, gas and other industries, and we hope to help customers find new employees that already know how to use a powerful and increasingly popular CAM system. We look forward to NAIT’s success with GibbsCAM in its machinist and CNC training programs.”

For more information visit: www.gibbscam.com or www.nait.ca

Published in Gibbs and Associates

Empire State Development today announced that the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center (STC), formerly known as Infotonics’ Technology Center, in Canandaigua will receive $5 million through the SUNY Research Foundation acting on behalf of the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE). The source of the grant is ESD’s Upstate Regional Blueprint Fund. This grant will assist STC, which is now part of Albany based-CNSE, in the development of new high-technology development and prototyping capabilities that will both add and expand private investment and job creation in New York State.

The project is expected to be complete in July 2012. It is also expected to assist in retaining 40 employees and creating another 20 full-time, permanent high-tech positions at STC, plus an additional 50 jobs at Moser Baer.

“This investment strengthens New York State’s role as a leader in the deployment of nanotechnology into real products and commercialization practices,” said ESD President & CEO, designate, Kenneth Adams. “With ESD’s assistance, STC will be able to develop its capacity to expand its commercial efforts in smart systems. The project will strengthen our innovation economy in the Finger Lakes Region.”

“The UAlbany NanoCollege thanks Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for this critical investment in CNSE’s Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center,” said CNSE Senior Vice President and CEO Dr. Alain Kaloyeros. “This funding from ESD will leverage more than $25 million in financial support from our private industry partners to enable the further development of high-tech infrastructure and capabilities at CNSE’s STC, which in turn will drive new opportunities to attract nanotechnology jobs, companies and investment to the Greater Rochester Region.”

“This funding from Empire State Development will provide essential resources and generate further momentum to accelerate the exciting growth of CNSE’s Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center,” said Paul Tolley, CNSE Vice President for Disruptive Technologies and Executive Director CNSE’s STC. “The continued support of Empire State Development gives added impetus to our efforts to develop new partnerships with leading companies in the fast-growing smart systems sector.”

CNSE’s Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center will spend $8 million making improvements to approximately 10,000 square feet of existing cleanroom space, purchasing machinery and equipment to support pilot manufacturing of organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels and creating capacity for attracting other smart system technology applications. The ESD funds will be used for a portion of the cost of facility and infrastructure upgrades and the purchase of machinery and equipment, leveraging additional funding from private industry partners of CNSE’s STC.

There are two major components of the project. The first is the fit-out of cleanroom space for STC on-site partner Moser Baer Technologies, which is investing $17 million in private funding as part of the initiative. The second component—relocating tools from the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany to STC, procuring new tools and upgrading several existing tools—will enable CNSE’s STC to tap the growing market for smart system technologies, estimated to be approximately $200 billion by 2015. Two adjunct but critical aspects of the program involve bringing in a new process called “Through Silicon Via” technology, as well as attaining the U.S. Department of Defense Trusted Foundry accreditation.

Infotonics Technology Center Inc. (ITC) is the name of a not-for-profit corporation formed in 2001 to operate New York State’s Center of Excellence in Photonics and Optoelectronics, one of five New York State Centers of Excellence created under legislation to encourage partnerships between universities and industries in the development and commercialization of emerging technologies. On September 20, 2010, ITC merged with the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany to become the Smart System Technology and Commercialization Center, a division of CNSE. This merger created a vertically integrated “one-stop-shop” for smart systems device development and process manufacturing, coupling CNSE’s strength in nanoelectronics and R&D with ITC’s expertise in integrating computer chips with hundreds of mechanical devices. The capabilities create immediate job and investment opportunities in all areas of advanced manufacturing, such as aerospace, defense, medical and energy industries.

The Research Foundation of State University of New York is a private, not-for-profit educational corporation that administers externally funded contracts and grants for and on behalf of the State University of New York. It is a separate, not-for-profit corporation and, as such, is not supported by state appropriated tax dollars, nor does it receive support services provided to New York State agencies. The Research Foundation provides the administrative flexibility to respond quickly to the special demands of externally funded contracts and grants in a manner that facilitates their scientific or technical execution.

Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency and administrator of the statewide business resource portal New York First (www.NYfirst.NY.gov). ESD is committed to being recognized on a global scale as the economic development engine driving job growth, strategic investment and prosperity in New York State. ESD is intent on paving the way for New York State to become the leader of the innovation economy and one of the most business-friendly, productive and competitive economic development climates in the world. ESD also oversees the marketing of “I LOVE NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Empire State Development, visit www.esd.ny.gov

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