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Manufacturing Council tours Alfred University Engineering facilities
6/12/14

Members of the Manufacturing Council of Allegany County toured the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering earlier this week to learn what resources are available to them through the School.

“We are excited to see the manufacturers in Allegany County collaborate to improve the manufacturing infrastructure in the county,” said Doreen Edwards, dean of the Inamori School of Engineering and a professor of materials science.

“On our part, we can offer our area manufacturers technical expertise, research and problem-solving,” she said.

The School is perhaps best known for its materials-based engineering programs – it is one of only two schools in the United States that offers an undergraduate degree in ceramic engineering, and the only one to offer a degree in glass science, engineering – mechanical engineering has the largest number of majors, she told the group. The newest major in renewable energy engineering enrolled its first students last fall, and will enroll twice as many this fall, making it the fastest-growing major in the school.  Other undergraduate programs are materials science and biomaterials engineering science. 

The focus of the programs might best be summed up as “advanced materials and systems,” said Edwards, noting that faculty expertise and research interests fall into three broad categories – predictive modeling, processing, and materials characterization and testing.

One way in which Alfred University can help area manufacturers retain people to fill higher-paying engineering jobs at their firms is through hiring AU students for co-op work experiences and internships, she said. It is also possible to sponsor senior projects, which is an affordable way for a company to get a short-term research project done, or to find solutions for a manufacturing problem.

Matthew Hall, director of the New York State Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT) and a professor of biomaterials and glass science, explained the how the CACT can provide access to the resources of the School for analytical services; short-term problem solving projects and longer-term research efforts.

Additionally, he said, the CACT has a program that allows New York State industries to hire Alfred University students for co-ops and internships at a reduced rate. The students are actually employees of Alfred University who are placed with the industries, meaning that AU covers the indirect costs of hiring the students, and picks up 20 percent of their wages or salary during the time they are placed with the company.

Additional information about the Inamori School of Engineering may be obtained through the web site: engineering.alfred.edu or by calling Dr. Edwards at 607-871-2422.

More information about the New York State Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology may be obtained through the web site: cact.alfred.edu or by calling Dr. Hall at 607-871-2486.