Florida International University recently launched its new Cold Spray and Rapid Deposition Laboratory. The lab was made possible by a $22.9 million grant from the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Army Research Laboratory, which will support its operations for the next five years.
“FIU’s commitment to innovation and impact is on full display today as we celebrate the opening of this lab,” stated Kenneth A Jessell, president of FIU. “We show the world today that we are a leader for Army Research Lab Cold Spray Technology and an influential partner, together with our congressional delegation, in building up Miami’s tech, innovation and manufacturing ecosystem.”
The lab will be led by Distinguished University Professor Arvind Agarwal, the chair of FIU’s Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) and an expert on advanced AM techniques.
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“From developing antibacterial coatings for biomedical use to assisting in environmental corrosion prevention in coastal communities, these technologies promise to deliver solutions to a myriad of real-world problems, while helping to train the next generation of researchers, technologists and STEM professionals in the fields of robotics, advanced manufacturing, aerospace technologies and machine learning,” Agarwal shared.
The opening of the lab is hoped to position FIU as a key provider of research and talent for the US Department of Defense and industry partners. This is particularly important due to the increased demand for electronics and the expansion of both the aerospace and defence industries.
“We have a large group of more than twenty-five researchers working on Cold Spray and rapid deposition technologies here at the College of Engineering and Computing,” added Ines Triay, interim dean of CEC. “This state-of-the-art lab, the only one of its kind at a Florida university, will allow us to not only augment our research capabilities, but also equip the next generation workforce with critically important skills.”
FIU’s research leadership and critical funding from the Army Research Lab has been supported by the Florida Congressional delegation.
“I am so proud I was able to help secure the funding supporting the innovative solutions that FIU is developing, in this case helping to ensure our defence systems are agile and meeting the needs of our troops, while also bolstering the manufacturing ecosystem in South Florida,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Ranking Member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.