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fireworks over John D. Tickle Engineering Building during dedication ceremony

UT’s College of Engineering once again received some of President Barack Obama’s attention as the White House announced the start of the National Week of Making on Friday by spotlighting a select group of institutions.

Part of the White House’s push for a “nation of makers,” the week places emphasis on programs and initiatives that have made particular advances in manufacturing processes in the United States.

For UT’s part, those initiatives encourage students to serve as mentors for young makers, advance development of new tools for manufacturing, increase access to university-shared facilities and scientific instrumentation, and provide scholarships to students based upon excellence and ability in manufacturing areas.

Additionally, the increased focus of UT’s College of Engineering on hiring faculty well versed in advanced manufacturing techniques such as 3-D printing was also singled out as an example of what the president hopes to encourage.

“Being able to take part in this week is a great credit to UT and the success we’ve had in embracing these new kinds of manufacturing,” said College of Engineering Dean Wayne Davis. “To be singled out as one of the schools to share its story of success is particularly exciting.”

The movement began when universities and other institutions of higher learning teamed up with the White House in 2014 for the first White House Maker Faire.

As a continuation of that effort, 153 of them sent a letter to Obama encouraging further emphasis on the development of manufacturing techniques.

Those schools—including UT—are members of what is being called the MakeSchools Alliance, all with the shared goal of increasing the role of manufacturing in the United States.


David Goddard (865-974-0683,