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Research Teams Earn Manufacturing PA Innovation Grants
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 06/29/2020

Penn State was awarded 10 grants through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Manufacturing PA initiative. The initiative awarded $2.8 million, across 43 grants in total, and will bring together government, industry, and higher education in holistic collaboration to spur new technologies and processes in the manufacturing sector.

The Corporate Engagement Center and the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program (PennTAP), entities within the Office of the Senior Vice President of Research at Penn State, worked to promote the program and match manufacturing partners with faculty and students across the University. The DCED awarded grants to Penn State DuBois; Penn State Harrisburg; Penn State Erie, The Behrend College; and Penn State University Park.

"We are thrilled to see these funded research projects coming out of Penn State," said Jeff Fortin, associate vice president for research and director of the Office of Industrial Partnerships. "This program provides opportunities for our researchers and students to continue to build relationships in the manufacturing industry, and to push forward technology research that can make real-world impacts."

The approved projects are part of Manufacturing PA's fellowship program. The program unites the commonwealth's best and brightest graduate and undergraduate students with local manufacturers. Once paired, the students embark on research projects to develop new technologies and advance innovation statewide.

"Manufacturing PA allows for collaboration between incredible minds and incredible manufacturing companies," said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. "These partnerships engage Pennsylvania's educational facilities and the business sector across the commonwealth to position our state for continued manufacturing innovation and success."

The approved projects help advance innovation in several sectors of manufacturing, from advanced medical, to energy, to consumer goods. Additional details about many of the projects approved through the program can be found on the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program website. Funded projects from Penn State include:

- Taking Thermoforming to the Next Industrial Age -- First Steps. Principal Investigator: Anilchandra Attaluri, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Industry Partner: Universal Protective Packaging Inc.

- Concurrent Inclined Plate Settler Use in Industrial Stormwater Treatment. Principal Investigator: Shirley Clark, professor of environmental engineering. Industry Partner: Hydro-Dynamic LLC.

- Enabling AFM Process Analysis for Advanced Technology Development. Principal Investigator: Edward De Meter, professor of industrial engineering. Industry Partner: Extrude Hone LLC.

- Impact of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) Spatial Orientation and Matrix Phase Behavior on Drug Release from Extruded and Injection Molded Long-Acting Implants. Principal Investigator: Anne Gohn, researcher, plastics engineering technology. Industry Partner: Merck.

- Advanced Manufacturing of Ceramics for PA Industries. Principal Investigator: Guha Manogharan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and industrial engineering. Industry Partner: The ExOne Company.

- Evaluation of Recycled Foamed Glass Aggregates in Lightweight Precast Concrete. Principal Investigator: Grady Mathews, assistant professor of civil engineering. Industry Partner: Aero Aggregates of North America LLC.

- Cold Sintering Aided Manufacture of High Green Strength and Dense Powdered Metal Components. Principal Investigator: Ramakrishnan Rajagopalan, associate professor of engineering. Industry Partner: Horizon Technology.

- Human Error Reduction in Mack Truck Operations. Principal Investigator: Ling Rothrock, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering. Industry Partner: Mack Trucks Inc.

- Multiple Core Assembly Production Improvement and Enhancement. Principal Investigator: Robert Voigt, professor of industrial engineering. Industry Partner: Benton Foundry Inc.

- Image-guided Quality Control for Low-volume and High-mix Manufacturing. Principal Investigator: Hui Yang, associate professor of industrial engineering. Industry Partner: Argolytics LLC.

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