The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI, Knoxville, Tenn.) and The University of Tennessee have dedicated a revamped University of Tennessee building devoted to composites and fibers manufacturing and engineering. The newly named Fibers and Composites Manufacturing Facility and Engineering Annex serves as a complementary resource to area facilities such as the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. Uday Vaidya, IACMI Chief Technology Officer, and his student teams are already engaged in projects and interactions with many of the industry partners including Volkswagen, Magnum Venus Products, Alcoa, Techmer PM, Gamma 2, Resource Fiber, Minifibers and Local Motors. Leaders from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, East Tennessee Economic Council, Tennessee Valley Authority and the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce also attended the ceremonial ribbon cutting on Aug. 25.
Although the building itself is not new to campus, the newly acquired equipment has expanded facility capabilities allowing Vaidya’s team to conduct research on a real-world, industrial scale. The finished facility should be a structure stop for many tours to The University of Tennessee, IACMI and many STEM and recruitment activities in the region. The newly named facility will serve to continually provide experiential learning for students and industry engagement and forms a bridge in advanced composites manufacturing between The University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
“This facility will provide experiential learning for next generation engineers - undergraduate and graduate students in a real-world manufacturing setting. Our team of researchers and students are exploring the cutting edge of advanced manufacturing,” says Vaidya.
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The project’s goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composite aircraft.