The 19th Annual Dick Smyser Community Lecture Series on Thursday will feature Craig Blue, chief executive officer of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation.
Blue will give an overview of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. The lecture is sponsored by Friends of ORNL, or FORNL. It’s free and will be at the American Museum of Science and Energy at 300 South Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge.
A reception will be held in the museum lobby starting at 5:30 p.m. (snacks will be served), and the lecture starts at 6 p.m. in the museum auditorium, a press release said. This talk should be of interest to the general public, the release said.
The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, or IACMI, a $250 million-plus innovation institute within the Manufacturing USA network, the press release said. As an advanced manufacturing executive leader at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Blue’s vision came to fruition with the creation of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL, part of a $42 million portfolio of research sponsored by DOE, the release said.
Since opening in 2011, more than 11,000 visitors representing nearly 2,000 different organizations have toured or participated in innovative research at the MDF, which is in Hardin Valley.
Blue is a distinguished research scientist with nearly 100 open literature publications, 15 patents, and 10 R&D Awards, and he has been honored by selection as ORNL Distinguished Engineer in 2003 and as a fellow of the ASM International in 2009, the press release said. He is credited with revitalizing and building ORNL’s materials processing activities to national prominence.
The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation is the newest federally funded institute for manufacturing innovation, the release said. Its focus is on advancing innovation in the manufacturing of composites used in automobiles, wind turbines, and compressed gas storage tanks.
IACMI has three composites application centers directed to specific industrial applications. These centers are located in Michigan (automotive), Colorado (wind), and Ohio (compressed gas storage), with enabling technology centers in Indiana (modeling and simulation) and Tennessee (composite materials and process technology).
These states, along with Kentucky, are the six core partner states of IACMI, which also involves a 122-member consortium that includes industry leaders, universities, and national laboratories such as fellow founding partner Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which brings its Manufacturing Demonstration Facility and many other capabilities to the partnership.
In addition to $189 million in funding from those partners, $70 million came from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
In terms of economic impact, IACMI’s analysis has shown that the market for composite materials will nearly double globally by 2020. Making sure that workers, employers, and suppliers in the U.S. are able to stay ahead of the curve on the process is seen as crucial by industrial, academic, and political leaders across the spectrum, the press release said. Through these public-private-partnerships, the institute is “Driving the Innovation Engine in the South East.”
FORNL is an organization formed to facilitate and maintain a beneficial association of those who have an interest in ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory). FORNL provides a mechanism for members to keep in touch with co-workers, retirees, and current ORNL activities by providing the community at large with presentations and events. More information can be found on the FORNL website is http://www.fornl.info.
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