Missouri S&T research symposium highlights state’s manufacturing capabilities

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On September 3, 2020

From left: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, state Rep. Don Mayhew and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt examine a laser-printed sample from S&T student Michelle Gegel’s machine. Photo by Andrew Layton, Missouri S&T.

Missouri S&T brought together university researchers, industry experts and government leaders Thursday, Sept. 3, for a research symposium that highlighted the state’s manufacturing capabilities.

Missouri S&T’s College of Engineering and Computing hosted the “Integrative Manufacturing and Remanufacturing Technologies to Spur Rural Development” and featured speakers such as Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. The symposium featured in-person speakers and panelists addressing participants who tuned in virtually via Zoom.

Missouri S&T’s advanced manufacturing expertise is instrumental to making Missouri a leader in manufacturing and economic development.

“Today’s symposium is focused on the very bright future of manufacturing and re-manufacturing in our state – and Missouri S&T has an important role to play in this arena,” said Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani during opening remarks at the event. “The university stands ready and able to work with our federal and state government partners, as well as our partners in education and industry, to further develop Missouri’s workforce and economy.”

Following Dehghani’s opening remarks, Parson discussed the need to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, continue the push for rural broadband access, and ensure the state meets education and training needs.

“We’ve got to beat the challenges like S&T does every day,” said Parson. “But if they (industries) don’t have the foundation of the education communities of our state, we’re kidding ourselves if we’re going to be a leader. We will not be a leader if we don’t support K-12, our training centers, community colleges and our universities.”

Blunt also spoke about the desire to bring back manufacturing capabilities to the U.S. and Missouri to boost the state’s workforce.

“In that advanced manufacturing concept, you take at least two different businesses with a university or college partner and you get some benefits,” said Blunt. “But the chancellor’s understanding already of the institution is so important. When you’ve got this kind of expertise, this research, this partnership, why wouldn’t this be a hub for rural manufacturing? Once you check those first three boxes, you get to that workforce box and we win when we check that box.”

Dr. Steven Jung, chief technology officer at Mo-Sci Corp. and an adjunct professor of materials science and engineering at S&T, spoke about Mo-Sci’s state-of-the-art technologies using bioactive glass. Dr. Frank Liou, director of the manufacturing engineering program and the Michael and Joyce Bytnar Professor of mechanical engineering at S&T, led a presentation titled “Integrative Manufacturing and Remanufacturing Technologies to Spur Rural Development.” In addition, two separate panel discussions were held on strategies for a thriving industrial ecosystem and the evolving workforce development needs for the manufacturing industry.

Following their remarks, Parson and Blunt toured Missouri S&T’s new Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies (CAMT) location. The center specializes in fabrication and assembly technologies for aerospace and other manufacturing industries. Dr. Douglas A. Bristow, CAMT director and professor of mechanical engineering, led the tour.

Some of the center’s main research areas include additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping and manufacturing, laser-based materials processing, composites fabrication and evaluation, machining and machine tools, metrology, assembly modeling and simulation, and manufacturing ergonomics.

About Missouri University of Science and Technology

Founded in 1870 as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of more than 8,000 students and part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Located in Rolla, Missouri S&T offers 99 different degree programs in 40 areas of study, including engineering, the sciences, business and information technology, education, the humanities, and the liberal arts. Missouri S&T is known globally and is highly ranked for providing a high return on tuition investment, exceptional career opportunities for graduates, and an emphasis on applied, hands-on learning through student design teams and cooperative education and internship opportunities. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.

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