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UT recently got another boost in its growing role in advanced manufacturing with the appointment of a faculty member to a team focused on strengthening curriculum and student preparedness in the field.

Chad Duty, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering in UT’s Tickle College of Engineering, will join the newly created Expert Educator Team to help spread the growth of advanced manufacturing education through colleges.

“Our role will be to work with researchers and partners to identify areas of need in advanced manufacturing, particularly with lightweight materials,” said Duty. “We will then create a knowledge base and curricula surrounding those areas so that we can better prepare students for careers.”

The three groups working together to back the idea—Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences—selected Duty and five other leading experts for the task.

The six were chosen from LIFT research partners and APLU member institutions because of their ties to advanced manufacturing and a demonstrated history of innovation.

The team will be led by APLU Vice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement Jim Woodell and NCMS Senior Vice President Rebecca Taylor.

Duty said that exposure to the latest advanced manufacturing techniques is only one positive for UT, with the ability to collaborate with other institutions also marking a significant benefit.

“Advanced manufacturing is delivering a variety of high-tech new products to our society every day,” said Duty. “Designs are rapidly changing to introduce more features, better performance, increased reliability, and higher quality, while at the same time delivering it all at a lower cost.

“This helps strengthen our position in that field and keeps the momentum going we’ve built.”

That momentum includes the UT-led IACMI—The Composites Institute, partnerships in several other advanced manufacturing or materials projects, and the selection of three joint UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chairs in the discipline.

For its part, the team will begin by identifying educational opportunities in current projects. Those findings will be taken back to member institutions and used to implement new lessons and research opportunities.



David Goddard (865-974-0683,