IACMI Announces Composites Manufacturing and Engineering Facility
Officials dedicated a revamped University of Tennessee building devoted to composites and fibers.
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 led by Uday Vaidya, Ph.D., IACMI chief technology officer and joint University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) governor’s chair in advanced composites manufacturing, and 20 of his engineering students.
The newly named Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility and Engineering Annex reportedly serves as a complementary resource to area facilities such as the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. Vaidya and his student teams are engaged in projects and interactions with many of the industry partners that were in attendance at the event, including Volkswagen, Magnum Venus Products, Alcoa, Techmer PM, Gamma 2, Resource Fiber, Minifibers and Local Motors. Leaders from ORNL, East Tennessee Economic Council, Tennessee Valley Authority and the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce also attended the ceremonial ribbon cutting.
“This facility will provide experiential learning for next generation engineers—undergraduate and graduate students—in a real-world manufacturing setting,” said Vaidya. “Our team of researchers and students are exploring the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing.”
Craig Blue, Ph.D., IACMI’s CEO, concurred. “The work being done in this facility by Dr. Vaidya and his team is nothing short of amazing,” he said. “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 the campus, the newly acquired equipment has expanded the facility’s capabilities, allowing Vaidya’s team to conduct research on a real-world, industrial scale. The newly named facility reportedly 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 ORNL.