KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation- IACMI and The University of Tennessee, Knoxville officials dedicated a revamped University of Tennessee building devoted to composites and fibers manufacturing and engineering. Over one hundred attendees participated in the naming ceremony and technology demonstration tours on Monday led by Dr. Uday Vaidya, IACMI Chief Technology Officer and Joint University of Tennessee (UT)-Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Governor's Chair in Advanced Composites Manufacturing, and twenty of his engineering students.
The newly named Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility and Engineering Annex serves as a complementary resource to area facilities such as the Department of Energy's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. Dr. Vaidya and his student teams are already heavily engaged in projects and interactions with many of the industry partners in attendance at the event including Volkswagen, Magnum Venus Products, Alcoa, Techmer PM, Gamma 2, Resource Fiber, Minifibers and Local Motors. Leaders from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, East Tennessee Economic Council, Tennessee Valley Authority and the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce also attended the ceremonial ribbon cutting. Organizational partners expressed gratitude for the strategic thinking and expected future impact of the efforts. The use of advanced composites and innovative manufacturing techniques have growing importance in the nation's economy.
"This facility will provide experiential learning for next generation engineers - undergraduate and graduate students in a real-world manufacturing setting. Our team of researchers and students are exploring the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing," said Dr. Vaidya. Dr. Craig Blue, IACMI's Chief Executive Officer concurred, "The work being done in this facility by Dr. Vaidya and his team is nothing short of amazing. By adapting manufacturing processes to reflect newly commercialized clean energy manufacturing solutions and training the workforce of the future, this team is enabling national impact."
Although the building itself is not new to campus, the newly acquired equipment has expanded facility capabilities allowing Dr. Vaidya's team to conduct research on a real-world, industrial scale. The finished facility should be a structure stop for many tours to The University of Tennessee, IACMI-The Composites Institute and many STEM and recruitment activities in the region. The newly named facility will serve to continually provide experiential learning for students and industry engagement and forms a bridge in advanced composites manufacturing between The University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
About IACMI-The Composites Institute: The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), managed by the Collaborative Composite Solutions Corporation (CCS), is a partnership of industry, universities, national laboratories, and federal, state and local governments working together to benefit the nation's energy and economic security by sharing existing resources and co-investing to accelerate development and commercial deployment of advanced composites. CCS is a not-for-profit organization established by The University of Tennessee Research Foundation. The national institute is supported by a $70 million commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office and over $180 million committed from IACMI's partners. Find out more at IACMI.org.
SOURCE IACMI-The Composites Institute