School of Engineering To Host Fifth Annual National Manufacturing Day

Area High School Students To Visit Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute To Celebrate National Manufacturing Day

October 12, 2016


Troy, N.Y. – Nearly 300 high school students from around New York’s Capital Region will visit the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) campus to attend the National Manufacturing Day program on Friday, Oct. 14. This marks the fifth year that Rensselaer has participated in the event, which aims to inspire young people to pursue careers in technology and advanced manufacturing. The opening program will be held on the Rensselaer campus in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) Theater, beginning at 9 a.m.

“Advanced manufacturing is critical for accelerating American innovation, for translating American science and technology into new products, and for creating high-paying jobs around the country, New York state, and in the Capital Region,” said Shekhar Garde, who serves as the dean of the School of Engineering and as the Elaine S. and Jack S. Parker Chaired Professor at Rensselaer. “Rensselaer has been a leader in manufacturing engineering education for many years. National Manufacturing Day is a powerful tool to excite young people about manufacturing, to show them how technology can and does change the world, and to inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.”

Prior to the start of the program, members of the campus and local community are invited to view the 7:15 a.m. arrival of the Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter (weather permitting) on ’86 Field. The helicopter will be on display for public viewing from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition, a Snap-On Advanced Technology Lab Truck and New York State National Guard tent will be set up at the east end of the ’86 Field for attendees to learn about new technology being used in the field, and connect with organization representatives.

Program speakers include James Nowak, president of the Rensselaer Chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers; Sam Chiappone, director of manufacturing innovation in the School of Engineering; and local elected officials, including city of Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, New York State Assemblyman John T. MacDonald III, and New York State Senator Neil Breslin.

This year, Ryan Patry, a Rensselaer Class of 2000 alumnus who serves as manager of manufacturing technology for the manufacturing engineering at Sikorsky Aircraft, will deliver the keynote address. Patry will use his time on stage to speak about his experiences in manufacturing, and the importance of the innovative and versatile field in terms of the current national climate and future generations. Recent graduate Danielle Balzano ’16, who majored in mechanical engineering and is now pursuing her master’s in the same field at Rensselaer, will close the program.

Following the closing ceremony, the high school students will have the opportunity to visit several labs that focus on Rensselaer manufacturing initiatives. Labs include the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS), School of Architecture Fabrication Shop, the Biomedical Prototype Fabrication Studio, Nano-M3 Design Lab, the Micro and Nano Fabrication Clean Room, Haas Technical Center, and the Additive Manufacturing Lab. The students will also visit the leading-edge Manufacturing Innovation Learning Lab (MILL), where Rensselaer students will showcase their manufacturing projects. In addition, students will have an opportunity to meet and learn from Rensselaer student clubs and other organizations.

National Manufacturing Day officially occurs on the first Friday in October; however, companies and organizations are encouraged to plan events on a date that works best for them and their community any day of the year. As a result, all across the country, organizations have worked to show the public what manufacturing really looks like through more than 2,600 open houses and events in each of the 50 states and Puerto Rico, with an estimated 400,000 students, parents, and community members expected to attend.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama proclaimed October 7 as National Manufacturing Day to celebrate Made in America and renew his commitment to this vibrant sector.

In addition, this year, the city of Troy has played a large part in promoting and supporting National Manufacturing Day throughout the Capital Region. For example, in recognition of the important role that manufacturing has in supporting economic growth and jobs in Troy and across the region, Mayor Patrick Madden announced that Troy would launch the first annual Troy Manufacturing Week, beginning October 7. The weeklong effort, which coincided with National Manufacturing Day, includes visits from the mayor and business representatives to educational training facilities and local manufacturing locations across the Collar City. The National Manufacturing Day program, hosted by Rensselaer, serves as the culmination of the weeklong effort.

The Rensselaer School of Engineering planned the university’s National Manufacturing Day events, with support from Sikorsky Aircraft, Snap-On, the Center for Economic Growth (CEG), and Chief Executives Network for Manufacturing of the Capital Region (CEN), New York State National Guard, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, as well as the Rensselaer MILL and the CATS. 

While at Rensselaer, students immersed in advanced manufacturing education also will experience facets of The New Polytechnic, an emerging paradigm for teaching, learning, and research at Rensselaer. The foundation for this vision is the recognition that global challenges and opportunities are so great they cannot be adequately addressed by even the most talented person working alone. Rensselaer serves as a crossroads for collaboration—working with partners across disciplines, sectors, and geographic regions—to address complex global challenges, using the most advanced tools and technologies, many of which are developed at Rensselaer. Research at Rensselaer addresses some of the world’s most pressing technological challenges—from energy security and sustainable development to biotechnology and human health. The New Polytechnic is transformative in the global impact of research, in its innovative pedagogy, and in the lives of students at Rensselaer.

Note: Join the social media conversation. Follow the activity and share your photos and experience through Twitter using the hashtag #RPI and #MFGDay16 or through one of these social media outlets @RPInews and @RPIEng

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in engineering; the sciences; information technology and web sciences; architecture; management; and the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Rensselaer faculty advance research in a wide range of fields, with an emphasis on biotechnology, nanotechnology, computational science and engineering, data science, and the media arts and technology. The Institute has an established record of success in the transfer of technology from the laboratory to the marketplace, fulfilling its founding mission of applying science “to the common purposes of life.” For more information, please visit


Written By Jessica Otitigbe
Press Contact Jessica Otitigbe
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