UConn Receives National Award to Improve Precision Manufacturing

George Bollas, assistant professor of chemical materials and biomolecular engineering at his lab at the UConn Center for Clean Energy Engineering on July 24, 2013. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)
George Bollas, assistant professor of chemical materials and biomolecular engineering at his lab at the UConn Center for Clean Energy Engineering. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

The University of Connecticut recently received funding from a national institute to pursue energy management systems for precision manufacturing, one of just ten projects selected nationwide.

The Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) dedicated $10 million to support its first public-private partnership projects to advance smart manufacturing technologies in the United States.  The ten projects were selected from 41 proposals submitted in collaboration with 62 organizations, and range in duration from 12 months to 24 months.

Proposals focused on enabling technologies including: Cross-cutting R&D and Reusability, Process and Controls, Sensors, Data Modeling for Machine Learning and Data-Centric Analytics, SM Platform Infrastructure, and Business Practices and Workforce Development.

The UConn project aims to develop and demonstrate tangible benefits of smart manufacturing approaches applicable to subtractive and additive precision manufacturing and hybrid manufacturing of metals and alloys. The project is spearheaded by George Bollas, assistant professor of chemical materials and biomolecular engineering.

CESMII issued its request for proposals last December, with the goal of bringing innovative solutions to the marketplace and addressing CESMII’s objectives to enhance U.S. manufacturing productivity, global competitiveness, and reinvestment by increasing energy productivity, economic performance, and workforce capacity and ensuring institute sustainability.

Other recipients include Penn State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and University,  and the University of California, Irvine, as well as companies such as Honeywell.

“This first set of projects will showcase the value and impact that smart manufacturing has across a broad set of industry opportunities” says Jim Wetzel, Interim CEO of CESMII.  “We look forward to driving, business practices, enabling technology, smart manufacturing capability and workforce development through this investment.  Each project demonstrates a strong partnership between industry, academia and government that will provide unequalled results.”

CESMII anticipates a second project solicitation later this summer.