The event included more than 160 Detroit-area K-12 students participating in hands-on STEM activities, and comments from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon, and many other leadership stakeholders for both institutes.
The center houses the LIFT headquarters and the IACMI Vehicles Scale-Up Facility, the research and development hub for the IACMI Vehicles Technology Area. This event capped a near $50 million investment in world-class manufacturing equipment value and improvements to the Corktown facility, recognizing the future of innovative research in both composites and metals to be done there.
The institute’s co-location was announced in 2015 and one year later, the two institutes celebrated their combined investment in the innovation center, which began the acquisition and installation of equipment in the joint facility. IACMI and LIFT’s investments have allowed institute members, partners, and others in the industry to conduct research and development projects, in both lightweight metals and advanced composites. It also continues to provide education spaces for students and adult learners focused on developing careers in the composites and lightweight materials industries.
“I appreciate the incredible investment that these two world-class research and development institutions are making in our state and the city of Detroit,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “With Michigan’s talented workforce and reinvented business climate, I am confident that this partnership between IACMI, LIFT and our state will be an extremely prosperous one.”
Manufacturing Day is a national celebration of modern manufacturing, encouraging the next generation of STEM-workers to recognize the innovative possibilities of the future of manufacturing in the U.S. Last year’s Manufacturing Day reached more than 267,607 students, and had more than 595,000 participants overall. This year’s national event continues to grow, and the IACMI/LIFT ribbon cutting engaged a large audience of K-12 students, Michigan government and state university stakeholders, Michigan State University engineering students, and industry professionals from across multiple states.
The Detroit-area students participating in the event engaged in hands-on STEM events such as building hover-crafts out of compact discs, and creating an automobile out of different materials and testing the characteristics through virtual reality. They also had the opportunity to tour the facility and speak with engineers and MSU engineering students about career options. The students gathered with more than 200 industry, government, and university attendees to join for speaking remarks where they learned more about the impact manufacturing has on the Detroit community, the State of Michigan and the country from the leaders on hand for the event.
“Being headquartered in Detroit, it is critical for our institute to open our doors to Detroit-area students to learn about LIFT and to understand the opportunities for engineering careers and innovative research that will affect the future of the auto industry – and is being done right here in our community,” said LIFT Executive Director, Lawrence E. Brown. “We appreciate the support from the U.S. Department of Defense, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, our founders at the University of Michigan, the Ohio State University and EWI, as well as our LIFT members who have engaged in this facility and continue to support the future innovations that will be made here.”
Materials research and workforce development play key roles in the future of the automobile industry.
“This event gives us the opportunity to showcase the opportunities in manufacturing innovation for the auto industry through composites research and development,” said IACMI CEO, John A. Hopkins. “We appreciate the support from the U.S. Department of Energy, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the city of Detroit, Michigan State University, and our more than 150 IACMI members who have made this facility possible for IACMI.”