America Makes announced that its third America Makes Satellite Center will be located on the campus of the Institute’s Platinum-level member, Wichita State University (WSU) within the facilities of the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) in Wichita, Kan. The Memorandum of Under-standing (MOU) between America Makes, which is managed by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and WSU-NIAR was announced today at 4:00 p.m. CDT at the America Makes TRX+ event being held at the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT).

“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,” said America Makes Executive Director John Wilczynski. “For more than 30 years, NIAR has made a name for itself as the most capable university-based aviation research center 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. We are excited for this enhanced collaborative partnership with NIAR to get underway.”

Of WSU-NIAR’s selection as America Makes’ next Satellite Center, John S. Tomblin, Ph.D., WSU Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer and NIAR Executive Director said, “We’re hon-ored to be recognized as a valuable research partner for the Institute. We have already seen great bene-fits 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 NCDMM, America Makes is the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and the first Institute within the Manufacturing USA network. As a public-private partnership, America Makes currently has a membership community comprised of approximately 220 member organizations, bringing together our nation’s brilliant technical minds from all corners of government, industry, and academia to create a hub of advanced manufacturing innovation in AM.

The objective of the America Makes Satellite Center model is to extend the reach of the existing America Makes mission by complementing and expanding its current regional, industrial, and techno-logical footprint. America Makes founded its first Satellite Center in 2015 at the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Most recently in March 2019, America Makes 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.

America Makes Director of Partnerships & Community Relations Erin O’Donnell 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. America Makes has capitalized on the strength of shared goals and synergies of local organizations, 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 specialization,” continued Ms. O’Donnell. “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.”

NIAR’s mission is to conduct research, transfer technology and enhance education for the purpose of advancing the nation’s aviation industry. With 20 on-site labs with representation by nearly every aerospace OEM, NIAR offers capabilities, technology, and expertise that are unlike those of any other test lab. Additionally, NIAR is also home to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center of Ex-cellence for Composites and Advanced Materials (CECAM) and the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP), which is funded through the FAA and Air Force Research Laboratory. These centers promote the safety, research, manufacturing and design elements of today’s aviation industry, strengthening airworthiness assurance in the short- and long-term.

Ryan Wicker, Ph.D., P.E., Director of the Keck Center at UTEP, learning of America Makes’ selection of NIAR as a Satellite Center offered, “I am very pleased that America Makes is expanding to include NIAR as its latest Satellite Center. As the first America Makes Satellite Center, we have enjoyed leveraging our relationship to expand opportunities in additive manufacturing both regionally and nationally by developing new educational programs at UTEP, developing and delivering training to active military and Department of Defense personnel around the globe, pursuing state-of-the-art re-search to advance knowledge and applications, and building a new regional economy around these technologies. I am personally looking forward to working with NIAR and the entire America Makes team on continuing to drive the additive manufacturing revolution forward.”

From the point-of-view as the new TEES Executive Director of Manufacturing Initiatives, Office of Business Development, former America Makes Executive Director Rob Gorham added, “We offer sincere congratulations to our friends at NIAR. The Satellite Center model is incredibly important for us at Texas A&M. We fully embrace the objective of advancing additive manufacturing competencies in the U.S. and are proud to do so within the state of Texas. I look forward to integrating our capabilities with those of NIAR in support of the America Makes mission.”

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