Today, academic officials from Calhoun Community College and The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) signed an Advanced Manufacturing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
In the fall of 2019, Calhoun opened the Alabama Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (ACAME), which is a division of Auburn University’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME). This facility also has a host of partners such as Auburn University, GE, Huntsville City Schools, NASA, and UAH, who assist in curriculum development.
“As the only educational institution in the state of Alabama to offer an Additive Manufacturing Design degree, one of our goals was to collaborate with our ACAME partners. Thus, the MoU signing was a no-brainer after many discussions with the team,” says Mrs. Nina Bullock, Technologies Department Chair and Design Drafting Technology Instructor. “The mission of the MoU is to create a seamless transferable career path for those students in the program to transfer to UAH,” she added.
While elements of manufacturing and design are regularly taught in classes at Calhoun and at 4-year universities, the interaction between students trained in different fields is currently lacking. “This agreement not only offers a solution that spans cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary, but also with multi-disciplinary techniques for remediation,” commented John Holley, Calhoun Dean of Technologies.
The four main objectives of the proposed plan include:
- Teaming students from the associate’s program at Calhoun with bachelor’s-degree students at UAH on capstone projects incorporating Advanced Manufacturing (AM) as part of the design realization;
- Engaging graduate students in development of modules for incorporating into existing classes to connect engineering concepts with the demands of the AM environment;
- Installing advanced instrumentation on existing AM equipment to support research efforts into qualifying certifying AM components; and
- Offering a series of short courses for local industry to disseminate the latest trends in AM.
This diverse, inter-disciplinary, and multi-disciplinary approach proposed will provide a direct pipeline of future employees to support Alabama industry from Alabama colleges and universities. Integration of activities with industry input provides the necessary link between theory and practice.
To learn more about Calhoun’s Additive Manufacturing Design Degree Program, visit www.calhoun.edu/technologies.