America Makes announces first Satellite Center focused solely on AM for aerospace

July 17, 2019

America Makes announces first Satellite Center focused solely on AM for aerospace
The National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University (Courtesy Wichita State University)

America Makes, Youngstown, Ohio, USA, will establish its third America Makes Satellite Center on the campus of Wichita State University (WSU), Kansas, USA, within the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). The new centre will be the first industry-specific Satellite Center established by America Makes to focus solely on Additive Manufacturing, targeting its use in the aerospace industry. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between America Makes and WSU-NIAR was announced during the America Makes Technical Review & Exchange TRX+ event at the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT), Wichita. 

“On behalf of all of us at America Makes, we are pleased to announce the selection of NIAR as the site of our third America Makes Satellite Center,” stated John Wilczynski, America Makes’ Executive Director. “For more than thirty years, NIAR has made a name for itself as the most capable university-based aviation research centre in the United States, providing research, design, testing, certification and training to the aviation manufacturing industries.”

“As our next America Makes Satellite Center, NIAR will have the unique distinction of being our first industry-specific Satellite Center solely focused on advancing the use of Additive Manufacturing within the aerospace industry,” he continued. “We are excited for this enhanced collaborative partnership with NIAR to get underway.”

John S Tomblin, PhD, WSU Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer and NIAR Executive Director, added, “We’re honoured to be recognised as a valuable research partner for the institute. We have already seen great benefits as members of America Makes, and we expect our increased involvement as a Satellite Center to magnify those for us and for America Makes.”

Managed by the USA’s National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes is the national accelerator for AM and the first institute within the Manufacturing USA network. As a public-private partnership, it currently has a membership community comprised of approximately 220 member organisations from government, industry, and academia.

The objective of the America Makes Satellite Center model is to extend the reach of the institute by complementing and expanding its current regional, industrial, and technological footprint. America Makes founded its first Satellite Center in 2015 at the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). In March 2019, it announced that its second Satellite Center would be located at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), a part of The Texas A&M University System, in College Station, Texas.

Erin O’Donnell, America Makes’ Director of Partnerships & Community Relations, added, “America Makes is committed to strategically growing the Satellite Center infrastructure in such a way that brings the most overall benefits to our membership community and the additive industry at large.”

“Within the areas of each of the Satellite Centers, we envision an ecosystem similar to what we have achieved within the greater Youngstown area,” she continued. “America Makes has capitalised on the strength of shared goals and synergies of local organisations, including the Youngstown Business Incubator and Youngstown State University, to advance the innovation in and the adoption of additive.”

“Our goal for the Satellite Centers is to leverage the existing collaborative partnerships and further grow them into a larger ecosystem of additive specialisation. With NIAR joining the America Makes Satellite Center infrastructure, we are very excited to focus on certifying and qualifying additive technologies within the aerospace sector. The outcomes of such an effort are poised to have a tremendous impact on our membership community, the aerospace sector, and the additive manufacturing industry,” she concluded.

With twenty on-site labs with representation by a wide range of aerospace OEMs, NIAR reportedly offers a high degree of capabilities, technology, and expertise. It is also home to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center of Excellence for Composites and Advanced Materials and the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance, which is funded through the FAA and Air Force Research Laboratory. These centres aim to promote the safety, research, manufacturing and design elements of the aviation industry. 

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