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New Center Aims to Shape the Future of Manufacturing

Photonics.com
Sep 2013
DAYTON, Ohio, Sept. 24, 2013 — A new center for manufacturing sciences opening at Wright State University will offer education and training in areas ranging from bioengineering to laser micromachining. It will be led by Mound Laser & Photonics Center founder Dr. Larry R. Dosser.

The Wright State University Center for Manufacturing Sciences (CMS), announced Sept. 17, will focus on knowledge-based manufacturing and best practices, connecting students and manufacturers through co-op and internship programs as well as via the Internet, the university said.

Dosser, chairman emeritus of Mound Laser, is the center's Senior Fellow for Technology Advancement. From 1980 to 1995, he worked at Mound Laboratory in Miamisburg, Ohio, where he used laser technology to study various aspects of energetic materials and methods ranging from laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy to high-speed photography. In 1995, he started Mound Laser, which uses lasers to fashion miniature devices for the defense and medical device industries. The company, which collaborates with a Wright State faculty member to help speed research to commercialization, currently has 50 employees and annual sales of between $5 million and $6 million.

Dosser will bring in researchers from institutions such as Harvard and Notre Dame who share the center's passion for shaping the future of manufacturing to present seminars and lectures on technical areas of advanced manufacturing.

“We're inviting the next-generation workforce to collaborate with today's leaders and become tomorrow's leaders," he said. "We can now connect students to areas they've never seen before. What we will be doing from Day One is exposing them to real-world experiences. Students will become both learners and then teachers — where they really learn."

The center will be student-centric, Dosser said, and will use the power of the Internet and collaborative applications to connect locally, nationally and internationally to state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities.

"Students could walk in and say they wanted training in laser micromachining technology," Dosser said. "We would provide a simulation of a manufacturing cell in laser micromachining. The knowledge level gained from the simulations gets you 80 to 90 percent of the way. Now you only have to put your hands on the hardware."

The US manufacturing base is critical for national security and to grow national wealth, he said.

“We need to continually evolve our manufacturing processes to stay current," he said. "We need to invite more young and talented people into manufacturing and share with them the opportunity to be part of the emerging manufacturing renaissance that will see US manufacturing lead the world into and through the 21st century. Much of today's manufacturing is done in highly digitized settings and cleanrooms, in which innovation and imagination are key.”

When he was at Mound Laser, Dosser helped manufacture devices so small that they can be inserted into the heart, brain and ear.

“I think the next advances are going to be made in the micro world,” Dosser said. “For example, we are micromachining devices that are being used at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. We can bring in both neuroscience experts and laser manufacturing experts to drive these applications.”

He began discussions with Wright State officials a year ago about creating such a center as an economic development tool. He worked closely with the university in getting a shared faculty member on site at Mound Laser. This program, which began in January 2013, is proving to be very successful and may be a model for the future.

“I enjoyed Wright State’s positive attitude, their collaborative attitude,” Dosser said. “The whole atmosphere is extremely refreshing.”

“We are excited to have Larry bring his knowledge and experience to lead this critical strategic effort,” said Robert Fyffe, Ph.D., Wright State vice president for research and graduate studies. "We are confident that working with a broad array of partners within and outside the university, he and the center will have a positive and sustained impact on research, development and training to make Wright State a national leader in the manufacturing sciences."

Dosser said the center will be rich with resources, drawing on those from Mound Laser, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the US Navy and others.

“There is a huge opportunity here for the university through collaborative effort with these partners,” Dosser said. “Now we have a portal for all of these things.”

CMS appreciates that strong businesses are built by teams and is committed to working with students from science, engineering, business, human performance and the arts to foster innovation and imagination in manufacturing, he said.

“Manufacturing is half science and engineering and half business,” Dosser said. “And mingling science and the arts can be an effective, collaborative way to solve problems. Let’s put them together and let the students collaborate and learn from one another.”

Dosser expects to begin seeing students in January; he plans for the center to be self-sustaining within three years through research grants and contracts.

For more information, visit: www.wright.edu


GLOSSARY
fluorescence spectroscopy
The spectroscopic study of radiation emitted by the process of fluorescence.
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