Training Tomorrow's Workforce

February 14, 2022

Read more about how CAAAM is creating next-gen manufacturing.

Additive manufacturing will revolutionize many industries and require a workforce trained in the engineering and technical skills of this emerging area. That’s why the Center for Agile and Adaptive Additive Manufacturing has teamed with researchers in the Department of Physics to perform non-destructive testing that looks at the internal structure of 3D-printed parts created using high-end ultrasound equipment, which was purchased through the center. And doctoral students in physics and materials science have guided students from area high schools, other universities and UNT’s biomedical master’s track in a summer program to use robotics to automate the process.

“Our goal is not only research, but also  education — creating the workforce for the next generation,” says Narendra Dahotre, founding leader and associate vice president of CAAAM.

The center established the Institute for Transformative Education in Additive Manufacturing (ITEAM), which focuses on education and workforce development. ITEAM organized a two-week camp last summer with 25 students and teachers from junior colleges in North Texas and UNT. The program included one week of in-class lectures on fundamentals of additive manufacturing followed by a one-week session of hands-on training on CAAAM equipment. The camp’s success set a foundation for subsequent activities in training students and the workforce.

CAAAM is working with industry and outside organizations to build partnerships for research and further workforce programs. Their advisory board includes Brian Rosenberger with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and Richard Grylls at Carpenter Technology Corporation.

CAAAM’s workforce development goes beyond training students to use the new technology. The center is taking a holistic approach to additive manufacturing, not just in the areas of materials science and processing methods, but looking at everything from sustainability to data science.

“3D printing is not typically associated with all of the topics we are addressing — but associated with mainstream technology,” says Rajarshi Banerjee, Regents Professor and director of UNT’s Materials Research Facility. “In the future, all these aspects of 3D printing will be interconnected, and that’s what CAAAM is all about.”