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The strong link between Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UT will be on display Friday, as the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL welcomes UT students and faculty from the College of Engineering.

The group will get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the top facilities at ORNL as part of nationwide Manufacturing Day activities.

“One of the big challenges facing our nation is developing engineers and scientists who can keep pace with the incredibly rapid changes taking place in advanced manufacturing,” said Craig Blue, director of the Advanced Manufacturing Program and Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL. “Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s partnership with the University of Tennessee gives us a real advantage.”

Students on the tour will have the opportunity to see a working environment involving things they are just beginning to study.

The MDF was the U.S. Department of Energy’s first and was established with an eye on rapid deployment of advanced manufacturing technologies, from energy consumption to better use of materials, while at the same time reducing costs and creating opportunities for higher-paying jobs.

“Our ability to identify smart, energetic students helps US competitiveness, but it also strengthens East Tennessee’s position as a national center for manufacturing innovation,” said Blue.

Through its Technology Collaborations Program, the facility encourages industries to partner with it on a variety of projects including additive manufacturing, composites and carbon fiber production, lightweight materials processing, and battery manufacturing, among others.

“Visits like this are great for our students, because it allows them to see the possibilities available to them,” said Masood Parang, associate dean

for academic and student affairs in the College of Engineering and professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering.

“Being able to do things like this helps our students, and it helps show the great relationship we have with ORNL.”

Manufacturing Day began in 2012 and is supported by most major manufacturing organizations, a number of high-profile businesses, and the Science Channel. The 2013 event had participants from forty-eight states and Puerto Rico, with more than 35,000 people attending functions related to the day

C O N T A C T :

David Goddard (865-974-0683,