Students Participate in Cutting Edge Research
Focus: HOPE maintains a high tech manufacturing operation in its Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) to expose students to cutting edge technologies. Engineering students have the rare opportunity to work in advanced manufacturing facilities producing real world production parts in an ISO-based quality system and on research and development projects. Upon graduation, they enter the workplace with unrivaled experience as well as strong academic skills. Employers that have hired engineering graduates include General Motors, Chrysler, Ford Motor, Honda, Toyota, Boeing, the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in Washington, D.C., and Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) in Warren.
Since opening in 1993, the CAT has been involved in groundbreaking projects, including the development and eventual production of Mobile Parts Hospitals that are now deployed in the Middle East to support American soldiers in the field. Using these mobile units, soldiers can manufacture replacement parts on demand, reducing the time for repairs and redeployment of vehicles and equipment. Units in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait have become invaluable resource for soldiers.
Currently, engineering staff and students are conducting research on new technologies that could have a huge impact on government spending for replacement parts in both the Army and Navy. Two research projects involve using direct metal deposition (DMD) and friction stir processing (FSP) to repair expensive parts that have been damaged by corrosion and wear. Already, the research is demonstrating that corrosion-damaged naval assets can be restored to new or better-than-new condition at significant cost savings. Partners in the research are The POM Group Inc., the University of Michigan and Teledyne Scientific and Imaging.
Dr. Ashish Dasgupta, research and development manager at Focus: HOPE was recently quoted about our R&D in LIA Today magazine, "We're applying a modern technology to some old parts that are expensive, and then seeing whether we can squeeze some more life out of them so the government doesn't have to keep spending a huge amount of money to buy new ones."
The Mobile Robotic Direct Metal Deposition (DMD®) System Prototype, which was developed for the U.S. Navy, recently debuted at the 2011 Defense Manufacturing Conference (DMC).
On the horizon is research involving alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power.