Two renowned research centers at the The University of Texas at El Paso have announced plans to open a unit in Youngstown, Ohio, to create a joint presence for collaborative opportunities with Youngstown State University (YSU) and the region’s business community focused on advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense technologies.
The strategic expansion of UTEP’s W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation and the NASA MIRO Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR) will help bridge two of the largest American manufacturing hubs — El Paso and Youngstown — through a shared vision of sustaining and expanding America’s defense manufacturing capabilities, technological superiority and supply chain.
Youngstown is home to America Makes, the nation’s leading and collaborative partner in additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology research, discovery, creation and innovation.
It is the first of eight Manufacturing Innovation Institutes established and managed by the U.S. Department of Defense as public-private partnerships. UTEP was designated as the first America Makes Satellite Center in 2015 and has its own rich history in additive manufacturing.
“The presence of Youngstown State University and America Makes in Youngstown presents a tremendous opportunity for us to collaborate with world-class additive manufacturing experts,” said Ryan Wicker, Ph.D., professor and director of UTEP’s Keck Center.
In addition to frontier research and academic collaboration on additive manufacturing and hypersonic technologies, the partnership will catalyze the ecosystem in both regions for creation of advanced technology-based small businesses and defense manufacturing suppliers.
“I believe the El Paso and Youngstown areas are poised to become leaders in hypersonic technologies, and we are very enthusiastic about establishing a footprint in Youngstown to work jointly on hypersonic-enabling technologies with YSU and local advanced manufacturing businesses,” said Ahsan Choudhuri, Ph.D., associate vice president for aerospace center and founding director of cSETR. “We are very excited about this opportunity and commit to bringing our extensive network of aerospace and defense industry partners to this relationship.”