Success Story – Advanced Manufacturing Workshop – Preparing the Next Generation of Researchers

Iris Rivero, Technical Vice-President, IISE

From October 16th to the 18th 2017 the Iowa State University campus was the site of a forum that brought together female academics from across the country to learn about emerging areas in advanced manufacturing. The main outcome of the gathering was the establishment of multidisciplinary teams with the aim of devising unique research opportunities in manufacturing. Organized by Iris V. Rivero, Associate Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Iowa State University, the NSF sponsored event emphasized discussion in three main research areas: Design of Materials, Additive Manufacturing, and Hybrid Manufacturing.

Denis Cormier, Earl W. Brinkman Professor in Industrial and Systems Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, initiated research discussions with the participants by providing an overview of polymers and metals used in the fabrication of components and structures via additive manufacturing techniques. Matt Frank, Associate Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Iowa State University, hosted an interactive session introducing the subject of Hybrid Manufacturing. While Ola Harrysson, Edward P. Fitts Distinguished Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University, discussed the subject of Additive Manufacturing by emphasizing the multidisciplinarity of research projects carried out within this field. Besides discussion of research areas in manufacturing the workshop was composed of a series of professional development panels where the subjects of diversity, race, and gender in the engineering professoriate were discussed. Within this subject, Gilda Barabino, Berg Professor and Dean of The Grove School of Engineering at The City College of New York, headed the conversation towards the subject of intersectionality, and stimulated discussion identifying opportunities for career advancement.

In addition, Marlene Tromp, Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of California in Santa Cruz, carried out a candid dialogue highlighting the enrichment to the profession that inclusion provides, and identified strategies for successful career progression in academia. During the evenings, the workshop’s keynote speakers Sarah Rajala, James L. and Katherine S. Melsa Professor & Dean of Engineering at Iowa State, discussed her experience in leadership roles in academia; while David Bourell, Temple Foundation Endowed Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin provided his perspective of the direction and future of Additive Manufacturing research. The last day of the workshop participants had the opportunity to interact with program directors from NSF, DoD, and DoE, and present to them the research concepts developed during the workshop. This workshop will be hosted again in the near future, but next time on-line…stay tuned.