ADELPHI, Md. -- The U.S. Army announced a new collaborative agreement with two universities with the goal of improving manufacturing capabilities.
The three-way partnership between the University of Kentucky, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory will focus on next generation materials and processing technologies.
The five-year collaboration will seek science and technology solutions to tackle the Army’s critical modernization challenges.
“This exciting collaboration will pave the way for breakthroughs in discovery and advancement of new materials, as well as groundbreaking advanced manufacturing processes, helping shape future innovations to support Army needs,” said Dr. Raymond Brennan, an Army researcher who will serve as the cooperative agreement manager for the UK portion of the program.
I.S. Jawahir, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, James F. Hardymon Chair in Manufacturing Systems and director of UK’s Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing, will serve as the principal investigator and project director for UK.
“We intend to meet the challenges of the strategic initiatives within the U.S. Army’s modernization priorities,” Jawahir said. “To accomplish these goals, a state-of-the-art additive manufacturing research laboratory will be established within the Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing in the College of Engineering at UK.”
According to Jawahir, the laboratory will feature unique and modern additive and hybrid manufacturing machines, material characterization equipment and systems.
Working with Army scientists and engineers, UK researchers will pursue new nano-structured metal alloys, and advanced composite materials, using unique manufacturing methods such as smart, sustainable and hybrid manufacturing processes.
The UK team has identified four primary research areas: engineered high-temperature materials; advanced additive manufacturing; novel manufacturing processes and predictive modeling and performance assessment.
“By building a team that encompasses university experts having expertise in the fundamental materials science partnered with cutting-edge industry partners manufacturing the latest advancements in high-strength materials, along with defense original equipment manufacturers who want to pull the new advancements forward is the template to accelerate innovation and rapidly transition technology advancements for the warfighter, and this is what DEVCOM ARL strives to do,” said Dr. Bryan Cheeseman, team leader of the Army lab’s Rapid Technology Transition Team.
University of Kentucky officials said their overarching vision is to develop novel materials processing and manufacturing technologies to produce superior products and components for the DOD as well as civilian use.
“We are always more powerful when we come together in uncommon ways to achieve a common good,” said UK President Eli Capilouto. “This partnership will enable us to take our best minds and translate research into practical solutions—accomplishing more and doing more than we would on our own.”
The project will also push to meet strategic research needs in materials and processes as identified by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine.
As the Army’s national research laboratory, ARL is operationalizing science to achieve transformational overmatch. Through collaboration across the command’s core technical competencies, DEVCOM leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more successful at winning the nation’s wars and come home safely. DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory is an element of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of the Army Futures Command.