Advanced Manufacturing Impact Forum Debuts at Congress

Dec 5, 2013

Tom Kurfess of Georgia Tech welcomes a packed audience to the inaugural ASME Advanced Manufacturing Impact Forum at the 2013 ASME Congress in San Diego.

ASME introduced a new event this year at the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition called the ASME Advanced Manufacturing Impact Forum. Many Congress attendees participated in the day-long Forum, which immediately followed the Congress Keynote Session on Nov. 18.

The one-day Advanced Manufacturing Impact Forum featured more than a dozen experts from government, industry and academia discussing advanced technology and policy; new opportunities in advanced manufacturing generated by public and private partnerships; the status of the U.S. government initiatives through such organizations as America Makes (formerly the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute) and the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation; and implications for the future of standards creation.

The Forum consisted of four main sessions that addressed various topics related to advanced manufacturing. The first session, “Future Standards Needs – Process vs. Product Certification,” featured a presentation by Fred Proctor, leader of the Smart Manufacturing and Construction Control Systems Program at the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), on modeling and testing manufacturing processes. Proctor’s talk was followed by a roundtable discussion of the subject with panelists Doug Decker, composite manufacturing technical fellow at Northrup Grumman; Dave Ciscel, vice president of CalRAM; and Clay Flannigan, manager of robotics and automation engineering at the Southwest Research Institute.

Dr. Kurfess, who served as the 2012-2013 ASME Federal Fellow to the White House Office of Science Technology & Policy, provided opening remarks for the Forum and took part in the Town Hall session at the end of the event.

During the second session, “From Discovery to Scale-Up:  The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI),” Robert Ivester, deputy director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office provided an overview of the state of advanced manufacturing and clean energy in the United States. Mike Molnar, chief manufacturing officer at NIST, then presented an update on the status of the NNMI, the recently launched federal initiative to build a network of regional hubs that will accelerate the development and implementation of innovative manufacturing technologies for creating new, globally competitive products. Steve Schmid, professor at the University of Notre Dame, was the moderator for this session.

The following session, “Case Study:  From Kitchen to Adaptive Manufacturing” and “Public/Private Partnerships,” featured panelists Jeff Korengel of ConAgra Foods Research, Daniel J. Duncan of Nebraska Innovation Campus Development Corp. and David Jones of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln discussing adaptive manufacturing’s role in food production. Tim Wei, professor and head of engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, moderated that panel discussion.

A fourth session, focusing on public/private partnerships, included presentations and discussions focusing on the NNMI, its pilot institute program, and America Makes, the NNMI’s multi-agency U.S. public-private partnership to promote additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology research and creation. Scott Leonard, government strategic advisor, National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), and Darrell Wallace, deputy director for workforce and educational outreach, NAMII, were the speakers for the session, which was moderated by Ralph Resnick, president and executive director of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and founding director of NAMII.

(Left to right) Presenter and moderator Fred Proctor with panelists Dave Ciscel, Clay Flannigan and Doug Decker at the Forum's first session, "Future Standards Needs — Process vs. Product Certification."

The Forum concluded with a one-hour Town Hall session, titled “Future Directions,” moderated by Mechanical Engineering magazine’s Editor-in-Chief John G. Falcioni and Associate Editor Alan Brown.  During the session, Tom Kurfess, professor and HUSCO/Ramirez Distinguished Chair in Fluid Power and Motion Control at Georgia Institute of Technology joined Ralph Resnick, Doug Decker and Mike Molnar to review of the various themes that were addressed throughout the day. These topics included the role of the engineer and of ASME in advancing technology, collaboration, workforce development, and education. The Town Hall session was followed by a networking reception sponsored by the ASME Manufacturing Engineering Division.

“The Forum brought together key intellectual leaders from the government, industry and academia, providing an electrifying environment that generated some excellent discussions and outstanding ideas,” said Dr. Kurfess, who provided opening remarks at the Forum and took part in the Town Hall session that wrapped up the event. “The response from everyone involved — from the speakers to the audience members — was overwhelmingly positive.”

Kurfess, who served as the 2012-2013 ASME Federal Fellow to the White House Office of Science Technology & Policy, said the Forum was so successful that ASME is planning a second event, the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Impact Forum, to take place next summer in Buffalo, N.Y. That Forum will be held in conjunction with the ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE 2014). For more information, visit