America Makes Opens Third Satellite Center

America Makes has announced its third Satellite Center, located at the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) on Witchita State University’s campus.


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America Makes’ third Satellite Center will be located on the campus of Wichita State University (WSU) within the facilities of the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) per the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between America Makes and WSU-NIAR. NIAR, the university-based aviation research center, has provided research, design, testing, certification and training to the aviation manufacturing industries, America Makes says.

“As our next America Makes Satellite Center, NIAR will have the distinction of being our first industry-specific Satellite Center solely focused on advancing the use of additive manufacturing (AM) within the aerospace industry,” says John Wilczynski, executive director of America Makes. “We are excited for this enhanced collaborative partnership with NIAR to get underway.”

John S. Tomblin, Ph.D., WSU vice president for Research and Technology Transfer and NIAR executive director says, “We’re honored to be recognized as a valuable research partner for the Institute. We have already seen great benefits as members of America Makes, and we expect our increased involvement as a Satellite Center to magnify those for us and for America Makes.”

As a public-private partnership managed by the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), America Makes currently has a membership community comprised of approximately 220 member organizations, bringing together technical minds from all corners of government, industry and academia to create a hub of advanced manufacturing innovation in AM.

The objective of the America Makes Satellite Center model is to extend the reach of the existing America Makes mission by complementing and expanding its current regional, industrial and technological footprint. America Makes founded its first Satellite Center in 2015 at the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Most recently in March 2019, America Makes announced that its second Satellite Center would be located at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), a part of The Texas A&M University System, in College Station, Texas.

America Makes Director of Partnerships & Community Relations Erin O’Donnell explains, “Our goal for the Satellite Centers is to leverage the existing collaborative partnerships and further grow them into a larger ecosystem of additive specialization. With NIAR joining the America Makes Satellite Center infrastructure, we are very excited to focus on certifying and qualifying additive technologies within the aerospace sector. The outcomes of such an effort are poised to have a tremendous impact on our membership community, the aerospace sector and the additive manufacturing industry.”

NIAR’s mission is to conduct research, transfer technology and enhance education for the purpose of advancing the nation’s aviation industry. Offering 20 on-site labs with representation by nearly every aerospace OEM, NIAR is also home to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center of Excellence for Composites and Advanced Materials (CECAM) and the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP), which is funded through the FAA and Air Force Research Laboratory. These centers are said to promote the safety, research, manufacturing and design elements of the aviation industry, strengthening airworthiness assurance in the short- and long-term.