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Home | Tag Archives: W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation

Tag Archives: W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation

Department of Energy Official Praises UTEP’s Commitment to Advanced Manufacturing Research

A research leader from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lauded The University of Texas at El Paso’s research capabilities during the Southwest Emerging Technology Symposium (SETS) and Regional Small Business Summit, an event hosted by UTEP’s NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR).

Briggs White, Ph.D., technology manager of the Crosscutting Research Program of the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), was a keynote speaker at the event, which provides career-building opportunities for students from UTEP and throughout the country in a professional conference setting, connecting these students with researchers, scholars and industry professionals for possible recruitment opportunities.

“UTEP has been a national model for creating highly competitive academic and research programs while maintaining a deep commitment to serving its student demographic,” White said. “So, I was particularly pleased to participate in UTEP’s summit to help highlight its successes in important research with national implications.”

UTEP has long been a mainstay of NETL’s research collaboration through the agency’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities/Other Minority Institutions (HBCU/OMI) initiative.

Jack F. Chessa, Ph.D., chair of UTEP’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, said White’s sentiments are a testament to the continued efforts of the campus’ faculty to engage in externally funded research to drive innovation and enhance the experiences offered to students.

“We are quite excited to have had Dr. White visit and speak,” Chessa said. “DOE has been a strong supporter of research in the department as well as for cSETR and the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation. But I think this visit really brought into focus how much critical DOE research is going on here. The faculty in the department really have done an excellent job to position their research interests and capabilities to align with the critical needs of DOE. There is a lot of potential moving forward.”

White said one example of UTEP’s success through the HBCU/OMI initiative focused on advanced manufacturing.

“Advanced manufacturing enables the nation to build high-tech components with improved performance capabilities,” White said. “It also offers the possibility of rapid prototyping and repair. Under DOE sponsorship, UTEP’s work has explored the challenges of embedding sensors into combustor nozzles to enable real-time monitoring of component health.”

UTEP Expands Partnership with America Makes via W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation

Thanks to an expanded partnership with America Makes, officials with the University of Texas at El Paso say that the college will be a “pivotal leader in the collection of critical performance data for the 3D-printing industry while offering immense benefits to students.”

“We are excited to announce this expanded collaboration with America Makes,” UTEP President Diana Natalicio said. “This is a significant step in the effort to generate data that can be used to move the additive manufacturing industry forward. It is also a validation of UTEP, through the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation, as a national leader in additive manufacturing. We look forward to addressing the needs of America Makes while offering our students opportunities to participate in groundbreaking work in a thriving technology industry.”

The amended agreement is an expansion of one originally signed in April 2015, which made UTEP the first America Makes Satellite Center. The updated pact expands the Keck Center’s national impact by providing additional services to America Makes member institutions that will add significant value to their association.

The new agreement will help fill the tremendous need in the additive manufacturing (AM) community for access to critical performance data from AM-produced parts.

Managed by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes is the nation’s leading public-private partnership to innovate and accelerate additive manufacturing technology.

“Since our inception, America Makes has worked tirelessly to foster a highly collaborative membership community for the open exchange of additive manufacturing information and research with the singular goal of advancing our industry,” said Rob Gorham, America Makes executive director.

“Today’s announcement of our newly updated agreement with UTEP further underscores our dedication to our industry and demonstrates the ongoing success of our collaboration with UTEP and the Keck Center. The goal of the new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to expand our current Satellite Center relationship by incorporating services that will provide tremendous strategic value and competitive advantage to the America Makes membership community.”

In 2015, America Makes designated UTEP’s Keck Center as its first America Makes Satellite Center with the goal of promoting America Makes’ mission and expanding its regional, industrial and technological footprint to innovate and accelerate 3D printing as well as increase domestic manufacturing and economic competitiveness.

Under the new MOU with America Makes, UTEP’s Keck Center will be the focal point of an effort to provide America Makes’ membership community with greater access to critical performance data for 3D-printed components.

“The Keck Center’s ongoing dedication to advancing additive manufacturing and all of the supporting technologies and creating a skilled workforce aligns perfectly with the mission of America Makes,” said Ralph Resnick, America Makes founding director and NCDMM president and chief executive officer.

“On behalf of all of us at America Makes, we are pleased to have our relationship with UTEP and the Keck Center enter this new phase. The America Makes membership community and industry at large will benefit greatly from the expanded services available at the America Makes Satellite Center.”

Additionally, workforce needs will be significantly addressed through the increased number of graduates who will have direct expertise in specific additive manufacturing and testing technologies.

“Dr. Ryan Wicker, director of the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation, has built an extraordinary facility, program and operation over the years,” said Theresa A. Maldonado, Ph.D., dean of UTEP’s College of Engineering. “The Keck Center is an international beacon for 3D manufacturing capabilities that support the fabrication of a range of components, from very large-scale aerospace fixtures to the most delicate biological elements for human health. At the same time, Dr. Wicker is deeply committed to developing a workforce with the technical and leadership skills required to advance this dynamic manufacturing environment for years to come.”

“UTEP has done an exemplary job growing the America Makes partnership for our students and community in El Paso,” said U.S. Rep.-elect Veronica Escobar.

“This program is not only expanding the skillset and opportunities in science and technology for our young minds but is also allowing us to be more competitive through advanced manufacturing research and innovation. UTEP is playing a leading role in economic development by connecting our talented workforce to job opportunities here in our region.”

An added benefit for America Makes members who seek services at the Keck Center will be an option to apply the costs incurred to build and test 3D-printed components toward membership fees through the ‘@Program.’

“It’s an arrangement that benefits all parties,” said Ryan Wicker, Ph.D., founder and director of the Keck Center. “Through this initiative, America Makes members will be able to utilize our state-of-the-art equipment and generate significant data that can in turn assist our industry in determining how best to use 3D printing for designing and producing next generation products. We will be working with 3D printing equipment manufacturers and materials suppliers to maintain a high level of technological advancement at the Keck Center. Lastly, our students will benefit from the direct work they perform and through the research avenues that companies will pursue as they learn more about their products.”

Wicker added that the collaboration with America Makes will make UTEP an attractive institution to companies in the additive manufacturing sector seeking a locale near high-end expertise and performance. Wicker points to the recent announcement from Aconity3D — one of the world’s emerging technology leaders in the production of 3D printing equipment, which installed its North American base of operations at UTEP in July — as evidence of the campus’ rising prominence.

“Every company that we work with will recognize the value UTEP adds,” Wicker said. “We are confident that we will produce a substantial quantity of follow-on research, increase industry-sponsored activities and interest in our region, and build this initiative into a thriving workforce and economic development platform for this community.”

The announcement was made Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, at a joint press conference with America Makes held at the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation at UTEP.

UTEP, Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua Renew Academic Partnership

On Friday, August 3, officials with the University of Texas at El Paso reaffirmed their longstanding academic partnership with the largest public university in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico.

Top officials from the Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua (UACH), including Luis Alberto Fierro, the university’s most senior administrator, visited the UTEP campus for a series of talks with the deans of several colleges and a meeting with President Diana Natalicio.

Signed in 1994, the goal of the agreement of cooperation between UTEP and UACH is to promote academic collaboration and to identify professional development opportunities for faculty and students from both institutions.

One of the top items on the agenda for this latest visit, however, was the restructuring process UACH is preparing to undertake. As it looks to revamp its academic and operational model, UACH administrators have expressed great interest in learning more about the UTEP Edge.

The UTEP Edge is a cross-campus culture of student success and empowerment that develops students’ existing assets through high-impact experiences, including undergraduate research, community engagement, study abroad and student employment.

During their visit, UACH officials also met with alumni from that university who are now in leadership roles at UTEP. The group also made stops at the Student Recreation Center and the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation to get a firsthand look at some of the facilities that continue to cement UTEP’s reputation as an institution of excellence across the Paso del Norte region and beyond.

Some of the other topics of discussion included exploring options for dual degree programs, and identifying additional academic exchange opportunities for both faculty and students at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

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