December 12, 2023
Government, military and defense industry leaders, in late November, attended a grand opening event for the University of Oklahoma’s new Sooner Advanced Manufacturing Lab. The lab enables research and workforce development to support the defense industry in Oklahoma, the University of Oklahoma (OU) reports.
“As Oklahoma’s flagship institution, one of our most important obligations to our state is to drive economic growth, support workforce needs and ignite groundbreaking discoveries,” says OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “The Sooner Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory stands as a testament to our ongoing commitment to leverage OU’s excellence to enhance Oklahoma’s robust aerospace and defense ecosystem, which is essential to the prosperity of our state and nation.”
Advanced manufacturing describes a range of methods and technologies used to improve the manufacturing process. The Sooner Advanced Manufacturing Lab houses two GE M2 Series 5 Metal 3D printers: one machine for stainless steel and the other for titanium alloys. These 3D printers assist OU faculty and students with designing and meeting requirements of the regulated military and aerospace industry. The lab also maintains cross-cutting equipment for testing parts, digital twin, CAD modeling, and precision cutting and polishing.
“The U.S. military and defense industrial base is under constant pressure to accelerate repairs of critical equipment, reduce costs, and sustain its legacy systems to maintain combat mission readiness,” says OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia. “To address this critical need, our Oklahoma Aerospace and Defense Innovation Institute and Gallogly College of Engineering have come together with federal and industry partners to scale up research in advanced manufacturing that has real-world impacts.”
Planned future expansion of the lab’s capabilities includes support for producing aircraft propulsion parts, as well as expanded applied research, training and workforce development to support military and industrial aerospace partners.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.
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