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Advanced Manufacturing Education Offered Online

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The Department of Defense (DOD) and MIT launched an online Open edX platform for advanced manufacturing and technologies education. The website-hosted platform currently features two on-demand photonics courses — one on PIC sensors and one on integrated photonics passive device testing — that MIT developed in partnership with AIM Photonics, which is a DOD Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII). AIM and MIT’s Initiative for Knowledge and Innovation (IKIM) will add five additional integrated photonics courses on the platform this summer. Instructors include MIT professors, Naval Research Laboratory scientists, and private sector engineers.

AIM Photonics is one of nine MIIs that the DOD has launched in the last decade to move the U.S. advanced manufacturing industry forward in areas such as additive manufacturing, robotics, photonics, functional fabrics, and biofabrication. MIT IKIM leads the education and workforce effort of AIM Photonics, and is the initiative that launched the two courses already hosted on the platform.

MIT IKIM previously received DOD funding from the Manufacturing Engineering Education Program to build technician programs in robotics and photonics, and to launch a Virtual Manufacturing Lab — a suite of virtual reality simulations in photonics and other advanced manufacturing technologies. The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) institute recently received funding to create a virtual manufacturing environment on the Open edX platform, where students can train on virtual equipment.

Since the establishment of the first MII in 2012, the federal government has committed almost $1.2 billion in funding to the institutes. A network of over 1500 organizations from academia, industry, and state governments has committed an additional $2 billion in cost share to the MIIs.

The new online Open edX platform can be accessed here:

Photonics Spectra
Sep 2021
educationresearch and educationBusinessAIM PhotonicsworkforceMITgovernmentintegrated photonicsworkforce trainingNaval Research Laboratoryphotonics engineeringDepartment of DefensefundingARMroboticsPICslight speed

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