Boosting American Competitiveness in Advanced Manufacturing: Creating Future Leaders

Rensselaer Launches Newly Created Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Program

October 5, 2015

Leveraging the instructor expertise and industry-grade equipment in the Manufacturing Innovation and Learning Lab (MILL) , students undergo the same design process engineering, technical documentation, and rapid prototyping used in industrial research and development teams.

Troy, N.Y. — Manufacturers, policy makers, academics, and stakeholders in the manufacturing ecosystem continue to seek innovative strategies to strengthen the U.S. manufacturing competitiveness. In support of this, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has launched a new certificate program for graduate students in advanced manufacturing.

The Advanced Manufacturing Certificate is the first of its kind at Rensselaer focusing on new process development and systems management in advanced manufacturing. The program launch coincides with the School of Engineering National Manufacturing Day event on October 6.

The certificate includes a project-based lecture and laboratory curriculum for graduate students. Courses will be taught by faculty members from the School of Engineering, a team of leading experts in advanced manufacturing, micromachining, high-speed machining, metals and ceramics processing, along with additive, composites, and digital manufacturing.

The program is open to Rensselaer students who hold a bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline and have completed a manufacturing processes analysis course. Students will study the underlying theory, technology, and standard industrial practice for advanced manufacturing processes and systems. The program includes hands-on laboratory and design exercises focused on advanced manufacturing. Highlights include the design, analysis, and development of a prototype using a new manufacturing process and/or system through a team-based industrial sponsored project.

“Advanced manufacturing is accelerating the translation of American innovations in science and technology into new products and processes, and helping create jobs across all technology sectors,” said Shekhar Garde, dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer. “The Advanced Manufacturing Processes and Systems program positions Rensselaer nationally as a leader in manufacturing through cutting-edge research along with innovative coursework and curricula. Our graduates will be well-versed in time-tested manufacturing techniques, and fluent in leading-edge micro-, nano-, and biomanufacturing technologies. Our goal is to empower and inspire our students to develop new technologies and launch businesses that develop new products and create jobs.” 

“Manufacturing is truly the key to enabling great design and applying new technologies,” said Rich Heley, vice president of products at Tesla Motors, who is a Rensselaer Class of 2002 alumnus. “Without it, no design could ever make it beyond the CAD screen. I am constantly searching to hire people with strong manufacturing backgrounds who can demonstrate a deep understanding and application of advanced processes.”

The School of Engineering has an established manufacturing network that offers students, faculty, and industry, access to a variety of fabrication and production services and expertise. For example, the Manufacturing Innovation and Learning Lab (MILL) is revitalizing advanced manufacturing education at Rensselaer.

“The MILL is a manufacturing platform with computer-integrated manufacturing equipment that supports Rensselaer’s focus on educating the next generation of manufacturing leaders and innovators,” said Sam Chiappone, who has played a key role in developing the MILL, and serves as manager in the School of Engineering Fabrication and Prototype Facility, and as an instructor for the certificate program.

Despite rapidly changing technologies and new advances in the digital frontier of manufacturing, Daniel Walczyk ’91 – a Rensselaer professor of mechanical engineering, and director of the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS), and faculty members involved in the program – gives the same advice to his students as he did 19 years ago. 

“Students have to learn about the latest advanced-manufacturing automated systems,” said Walczyk. “They have to know how to make high-quality parts from a variety of materials and efficiently assemble the parts into a product at the proper scale.

Stories About Advanced Manufacturing at Rensselaer

Rensselaer alumni magazine: Fall 2014 -The President’s View: “Manufacturing Leadership

Rensselaer alumni magazine story: “Mastering Manufacturing in the MILL


Written By Jessica Otitigbe
Press Contact Jessica Otitigbe
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