Webinar Recording Now Available! ASME Foundation Swanson Fellows and the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation: Striving for US Global Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing

May 19, 2017

Webinar Recording Now Available! ASME Foundation Swanson Fellows and the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation: Striving for US Global Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing

Date: September 16, 2016

The recording from our Sept. 15th webinar (1:00pm-2:00pm EST) which featured two ASME Foundation Swanson Fellows who provided an update on the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) Program, the network of manufacturing innovation institutes, the Strategic Plan, institute partnerships, current and future opportunities and highlights of their Fellowships, is now available at the following location:



Guest Speakers:

  • Lester Su, Ph.D., is a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University and the Chair of the ASME Committee on Government Relations. He was an ASME Congressional Fellow in 2000-2001 and has remained involved with ASME’s policy activities since that time. Lester’s technical interests are in energy systems, fluid mechanics, and combustion, while his policy interests center on federal research funding, STEM education, and workforce development issues.
  • Shreyes Melkote, Ph.D. recently completed his term as a 2015-2016 ASME Foundation Swanson Fellow serving in the Interagency Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO) hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. As Assistant Director for Technology at the AMNPO, Dr. Melkote participated in various activities of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) Program. Dr. Melkote works at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, where he holds the Morris M. Bryan Jr. Professorship in Mechanical Engineering for Advanced Manufacturing Systems. His teaching and research interests are in manufacturing processes with a focus on precision machining, low-cost sensors for process monitoring, and photovoltaic manufacturing.
  • Dr. Frank Pfefferkorn is a 2015-2016 ASME Foundation Swanson Fellow serving at the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (AMNPO), which is housed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD. He is the point of contact in AMNPO for the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) Subcommittee on Advanced Manufacturing (SAM) and MForesight: the Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight, which is funded through a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NIST. Dr. Pfefferkorn is also the main point of contact for the project to craft a new identity for the NNMI Program and helped craft the messaging for the program’s participating in the Hannover Messe 2016 and IMTS 2016 in Chicago, IL.  He also helped AMNPO draft two Congressionally mandated reports: the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) Program Annual Report and NNMI Program Strategic Plan.  Dr. Pfefferkorn is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when he is not serving in the AMNPO.
  • The NNMI is the U.S. Federal Government program for coordinating public and private investments to improve the competitiveness and productivity of U.S. manufacturing through the creation of a robust network of manufacturing innovation institutes, each focused on a specific and promising advanced manufacturing technology area. The NNMI Program advances American manufacturing innovation by creating an effective research and development, technology transition, workforce training and education outreach infrastructure for U.S. industry and academia to solve industry-relevant manufacturing problems. The vision of the NNMI Program is a network of institutes that bring U.S. industry, academia, and government together to solve pre-competitive cross-sector manufacturing challenges that an individual entity cannot solve alone. Currently, there are nine manufacturing innovation institutes. These nine institutes are, in chronological order:
  1. America Makes: The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (additive manufacturing/3D printing), August 2012.
  2. DMDII: Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (digital manufacturing and design), February 2014.
  3. LIFT: Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (lightweight metals manufacturing), February 2014.
  4. PowerAmerica: The Next Generation Power Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute (wide bandgap power electronics manufacturing), December 2014.
  5. IACMI: Institute of Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (fiber-reinforced polymer composites), June 2015.
  6. AIM Photonics: American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (integrated photonics manufacturing), July 2015.
  7. NextFlex: America’s Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing Innovation Institute (thin flexible electronic devices and sensors), August 2015.
  8. AFFOA: Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (advanced fibers and textiles), April 2016.
  9. Manufacturing Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing: Advanced Sensors, Controls, Platforms and Modeling for Manufacturing (selection announced June 2016)

The institutes, each led by manufacturing experts renowned in their field, have attracted nearly 1,000 companies, universities and nonprofits as members. The federal government’s commitment of more than $600 million to the nine institutes has been matched by more than $1.2 billion in non-federal resources from across industry, academia and state governments.  In addition to the institutes listed above, five competitions are running to create manufacturing hubs, with a national impact, in the areas of robotics for manufacturing, biofabrication of cells and tissues, chemical process intensification, revolutionizing the ways materials can be reused and recycled, and the first open topic competition in which the proposing team picks the focus of a new institute.  Nearly $800 million in combined federal and non-federal resources will be invested in these institutes to support the development and dissemination of transformative manufacturing technologies. These new institutes will be sponsored by the Department of Commerce (DOC), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Department of Energy (DOE).   Throughout its growth, the network will continue to be guided by both its public and private members, and the federal agencies with interests in manufacturing, including the DOE, the DoD, the DOC, the Department of Education (DOEd), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF).  While significant progress has been made, the grand challenge for the US to achieve global leadership is to establish 45 institutes over the next decade


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