Penn State awarded inaugural advanced manufacturing technology planning grant

June 02, 2014

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State is the recipient of one of 19 advanced manufacturing technology planning grants awarded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The grants, awarded to universities and other nonprofit organizations, are the first conferred by NIST's new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) Program.

"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."

The grants were awarded to new or existing industry-driven consortia to develop technology roadmaps aimed at strengthening U.S. manufacturing and innovation performance across industries. Penn State will use the funding to launch the Consortium for Additive Manufacturing Materials (CAMM).

The consortium will be directed by Todd Palmer, associate professor of materials science and engineering and senior research associate with the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL). Co-directors include Rich Martukanitz, senior research associate with ARL and director of the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D); Gary Messing, distinguished professor of ceramic science and engineering and head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and co-director of CIMP-3D; Timothy W. Simpson, professor of mechanical and industrial and manufacturing engineering and co-director of CIMP-3D; and Greg Dillon, associate director for research and technology transfer and associate professor of engineering in the School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

The objective of Penn State’s CAMM is to drive materials innovation for additive manufacturing applications. The consortium will connect materials producers, research institutions and end users in the development of the underlying technologies needed for the eventual implementation of new materials optimized for additive manufacturing.

“Penn State’s expertise in both materials and additive manufacturing makes it uniquely situated for bringing together these different stakeholders and researchers to bring new materials from concept to marketplace in this rapidly growing field,” said Palmer.

Additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, is the layer-by-layer production of 3-D components and is an emerging technology that shows promise in a wide range of industries, including defense, energy, aerospace, automotive, medical and metals manufacturing. In his 2013 State-of-the-Union Address, President Barack Obama said that it “has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.” CAMM’s initial focus will be on developing new types of metals, polymers and ceramics for additive manufacturing uses in the aerospace, biomedical, energy and electronics industries.

Technology roadmapping is a key component of all funded AMTech projects, and CAMM will launch a comprehensive roadmapping effort to identify industries' high-priority needs. The consortium plans to 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 roadmap, CAMM 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.

The consortium will leverage the resources, capabilities and multidisciplinary expertise of Penn State's CIMP-3D and the Center for Computational Materials Design (CCMD).

Penn State partners include ARL, CIMP-3D, the Colleges of Engineering and Earth and Mineral Sciences, Penn State Behrend and Nexight Group LLC of Silver Spring, Md.

Founded in 1901, NIST is one of the nation's oldest physical science laboratories. It is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce whose mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. For more information, visit online.

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Last Updated November 19, 2014