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ODU Becomes Newest Member of Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing

By Brendan O'Hallarn

Old Dominion and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) have announced that the university has joined the applied research center as a new academic member.

ODU will provide leadership and research expertise in surface engineering and digital manufacturing to CCAM, which is located in Prince George County, Va.

Oktay Baysal, dean of ODU's Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology (BCET), has been appointed to CCAM's board of directors. "This is a fantastic opportunity for Old Dominion University," Baysal said. "However, I believe the unique assets of ODU engineering make us a fantastic addition to CCAM as well."

Specifically, ODU brings expertise in both surface engineering - altering the properties of the surface of solid matter to meet specific application requirements - and digital manufacturing - the application of digital thread for design, development, manufacturing and support of physical products and systems through their life cycle.

Mike Beffel, interim president and executive director of CCAM and general manager and vice president of Chromalloy, said, "CCAM welcomes Old Dominion University as our newest academic partner. The ODU legacy of research innovation, groundbreaking R&D, and collaboration with industry exemplifies CCAM's very mission and philosophy. ODU's world-class faculty and engineering expertise will serve as a vital force in the CCAM, university, industry and government partnership."

ODU joins the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, becoming the fourth university partner of CCAM.

ODU's location in Hampton Roads also was helpful in facilitating the partnership between the university and CCAM, said Mileta Tomovic, chair of the Department of Engineering Technology and the BCET's designated liaison with CCAM. Tomovic has also been appointed to the center's Technical Advisory Committee.

"This region has a significant manufacturing presence. Hampton Roads is home to more than 300 different manufacturing companies with more than 60,000 employees in total," Tomovic said. "It's an industry base we support by providing highly educated graduates who have the knowledge and skills for these advanced manufacturing jobs."

Tomovic said CCAM's goal is to serve as a bridge between academia and industry by taking promising research results from university labs to industry and ultimately to consumers through scale-up transition processes.

CCAM houses cutting-edge, industrial-scale research and development laboratories for translational research in support of innovation and improvements in manufacturing operations and processes. Three major corporations with a local presence, which are already industrial members of CCAM, are Newport News Shipbuilding, Canon and Siemens.

"By joining CCAM we shall be able to work more closely with these three large corporations, in addition to other small and medium-sized regional companies," Tomovic said.

Old Dominion's modeling and simulation expertise will be extremely valuable to CCAM research. John Sokolowski, executive director of the university's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center, has been appointed to the CCAM Industrial Operations Board.

"A major area of concentration for CCAM is digital manufacturing. By its very nature, modeling and simulation can play a significant role in fostering the digital manufacturing process. M&S allows for the design and simulation of products before they are developed and assists in seamless integration of the products into the end-use environment," Sokolowski said.

CCAM members guide the research, leveraging talent and resources within CCAM and at Virginia's top universities through a collaborative model that enables them to pool R&D efforts to increase efficiencies. Results can then be applied directly to the factory floor, turning ideas into profit faster and more affordably than ever before.

Other CCAM members include Chromalloy, Rolls-Royce, Sandvik Coromant, Sulzer Metco, Aerojet, Hermle Machine Co., Mitutoyo, TurboCombustor Technology Inc., Buehler, Cool Clean Technologies, GF AgieCharmilles, Blaser Swisslube, Mechdyne and NASA Langley Research Center.

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