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AFIT: Symposium focuses on future impact of additive manufacturing

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 9:25 AM
By: Jessica Smith - Air Force Institute of Technology

The digital engineering and manufacturing environment continues to be a vital component of the relationship between the private and public sectors. Additive manufacturing has revolutionized prototyping and has grown to become one of the more innovative areas in the aerospace, engineering and medical fields.

The Air Force Institute of Technology Graduate School of Engineering and Management recently hosted the Digital Engineering and Manufacturing Environment Symposium: Enabling Additive Manufacturing in the Aerospace and Defense Sector, centered on moving that conversation forward.

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The symposium brought together representatives from defense, industry and academia through keynote speakers, informative breakout sessions and a trade show floor representing 37 companies and regional organizations leading the field. Symposium host Dr. Adedeji Badiru, dean of the Graduate School of Engineering and Management, said this is an important time to be having these conversations about manufacturing.

“The emergence of what IBM calls the new-collar workforce makes it imperative that we direct our attention and resources to recent developments in additive manufacturing, which will reshape and revitalize manufacturing enterprises,” Badiru said.

The symposium was held Oct. 30-31 at Wright State University’s Nutter Center. Dr. Paul Hartman, director of AFIT’s Center of Operational Analysis, served as symposium chair.

“This symposium was specifically designed to spur conversations and strengthen the relationships between the public and private sectors in this field,” Hartman said. “The conversations that took place during the event will ultimately have a lasting impact on how we push forward in manufacturing integration.”

Keynote speakers included Michael Schneider as a representative for Kevin Stamey, director of Engineering and Technical Management, Air Force Sustainment Center, Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma; and Brig. Gen. Allan Day, director of Logistics, Civil Engineering and Force Protection Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Invited guest speaker Barbara Humpton, president, Siemens Government Technologies, wrapped up the symposium.

“The defense industry will be the cornerstone of this new digital engineering revolution,” Badiru said. “I am delighted that AFIT is playing a leading national role in workforce development for additive manufacturing from a systems integration viewpoint, encompassing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as well as the visual arts and design disciplines. The human operating environment is changing rapidly,” Badiru said. “This symposium was designed to help coalesce the thoughts and actions needed to fully leverage the wide capabilities of additive manufacturing.”