LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 6, 2017) — Manufacturing Day℠, which occurs on the first Friday in October, is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. As the University of Kentucky joins participating manufacturing industries and academic institutions in this year’s observance, UK is proud to share how the College of Engineering is embarking on a strategy for growth to better serve industry, the state economy and the citizens of Kentucky.
With several automotive and aerospace manufacturers, suppliers and many other manufacturing companies located within a 100-mile radius from the university, the college is strategically placed to promote manufacturing growth in the Commonwealth. As a result, the college leads Kentucky’s manufacturing in three key ways: education, research and technology development.
The college educates leaders who transform community through its master’s degree in manufacturing systems engineering — a degree that is entirely available online. The flexibility offered by this program enables Kentuckians already employed in manufacturing to take further steps in their career and utilize their knowledge to design and manage sustainable products, processes and systems. At the undergraduate level, the brand new Automotive Production Engineering Certificate introduces students to automotive manufacturing core processes. Students are motivated through the integration of knowledge and creative thinking by solving real-world engineering problems.
The UK College of Engineering's manufacturing research contributes to product and process development that promotes economic growth with an eye to sustainability. The Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing (ISM) comprises faculty from nearly every engineering department, and its primary objectives are to develop and advance sustainable manufacturing principles and practices in Kentucky, the nation and the world. ISM’s predictive modeling tools for total lifecycle-based product designs reduce material/energy consumption and develop tools and practices to improve performance at the manufacturing systems and supply chain levels.
Additionally, UK’s Center for Applied Energy Research (UK CAER) also remains committed to advancing Kentucky and the nation’s manufacturing industry. The center is a member of three of 10 Manufacturing USA Institutes — Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing (IACMI) and Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID). UK CAER is a global leader in next-generation carbon fiber research, home to the largest carbon fiber spinline at any institution in North America. The center also continues its research in low-energy, low-CO2, high-value concrete products.
As for technology development, the Institute of Research for Technology Development (IR4TD) is a unique engineering research center dedicated to research, education, outreach and service. IR4TD believes companies want more than mere survival in today’s economy; they want to prosper and grow. IR4TD helps companies accomplish their goals through their research and development and lean systems programs. Further, academic enhancements such as the Scholars in Engineering Leadership and Engineering Scholars in Entrepreneurship programs train students to become leaders and change agents who can disrupt business as usual with new innovations and technology.
No matter how the world changes, the need for high-quality, sustainable, advanced manufacturing persists. The UK College of Engineering looks forward to partnering with industry and government to make Kentucky a world leader in this vital area.