Northwestern University is co- hosting a program Aug 12-13 on Future Research Needs for Advanced Manufacturing “from an Industrial Perspective.”

workshop NW

It looks like three of the speakers are from Industry: Dr. Leo Christodoulou from Boeing; Dr. Eric J. Amis from United Technologies;  and Dr. Fukuo Hashimoto from Timken Company.

Dr. Hashimoto’s topic will be “Advanced Processes for Manufacturing Precision Components.”

Dr. Amis’ topic is titled “Advanced Manufacturing: The 21st  Century Materials Design Space”

The Boeing presenter’s topic is to be announced.

I’m hoping to get a copy of these.

The objective of the program is ” … to provide a forum for leaders in industry and academia to formulate the long term research goals in the area of manufacturing, particularly innovative manufacturing processes and equipment, and to enhance respective process capabilities while taking into account impacts on industrial ecology, for example, raw materials consumption and environmental impact.”

We were almost fooled into thinking that the topic “Making Chips, The Digital Future of Manufacturing”  presentation by Dr. Tom Kurfess  at Georgia Institute of Technology was about metal removal machining- but we think we were mistaken.

Our compliments to Northwestern University, NAMRI-SME, NSF and ASME for trying to get ahead of the curve on the research agenda.

But we wonder if the Future Research Needs for Advanced Manufacturing might instead  be more social and less technological in nature:

  • How to graduate more Math and Science  Literate Students from Public Schools – so that they can qualify to work in advanced manufacturing.
  • How to get families and educators to see the earning power in High Tech High Skill Advanced Manufacturing careers.
  • How much to earmark for vocational and skill training as opposed to the billions of dollars being shoveled into 4 year college degree tuition assistance resulting in graduates with worthless degrees, mountains of debt, and no practical manufacturing skills.
  • How  to get a coherent federal policy that matches protection of public, employee, consumer, environmental, and commercial interests across all spheres of public policy regulation and trade.

These might require a different set of Doctors…

But if I could nominate a topic for the program, it might be to address “optimizing interrupted cut machining processes for titanium and high nickel alloys.”

We could use some help making these...
We could use some help making these…

But chalk that up to my industrial practitioner perspective showing. (Titanium has poor thermal conductivity, tends to produce lamellar chips, wants to deform rather than shear, which adds to the demands on the tooling.)

Every megatrend that we see leads our industry to more and more production of titanium based workpieces – aerospace and medical to name just two  growing areas, as well as growing demand for chemical processing, energy  and aerospace applications of the high nickel grades.

If you could suggest a topic for “future research for advanced manufacturing” to the collective wisdom of the participants in this program, what would you request?

Would it be technological, methodological, or social?

Contact information for the program

Titanium rotor