UofL Receives $750,000 in Federal Funding to Improve Advanced Manufacturing Workforce

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville received $750,000 to launch the Robotics and Additive Manufacturing Pathways to SUCCESS (RAMPS) program aimed at preparing workers for the automated workplaces of the future that involve collaborative human-machine interfaces and 3D printing .

The skills needed by almost all manufacturers will soon be shaped to some extent by the rapidly accelerating robotics and machine learning revolution, including automation, robotics, additive manufacturing and intelligence. artificial. RAMPS will allow UofL’s Louisville Automation and Robotics Research Institute (LARRI) and other centers to purchase additional advanced equipment, such as a robotic quadruped, and introduce these devices to future workers.

Made possible by funding secured by U.S. Representative John Yarmuth of the U.S. Department of Education, RAMPS aims to meet labor needs in the advanced manufacturing sector and improve job opportunities. for underrepresented groups. It will enable LARRI, the Additive Manufacturing Science and Technology Institute (AMIST) and the Micro/Nano Technology Center (MNTC), all based in the JB Speed ​​Engineering School at UofL, for additional equipment and pilot programs to increase awareness and access to training in robotic and additive manufacturing technology over the next year.

“I am very proud to have secured $750,000 in federal funding for UdeL’s RAMPS program, which will help students excel in the industries of tomorrow,” Yarmuth said. “Manufacturing is a key sector of our local and national economy, and robotics and automation will have a huge impact on how businesses and industries operate in the future. UofL is a national leader in innovative training programs, and through its RAMPS program, students will have access to the cutting-edge equipment and training that will best position them for success in our workforce. rapidly evolving work.

Using existing and new equipment and leveraging the knowledge and skills present in UofL facilities, RAMPS leaders will introduce K-12 students, high school graduates and university students to the robotics and additive manufacturing and will help them train in the use of these cutting-edge technologies in the workplace.

Berfield anticipates that AMIST will add equipment used in the aerospace, automotive, dental and biomedical industries, among others. Workers at Kentucky’s multiple manufacturing facilities are expected to be disproportionately impacted by the shift to automation, making programs like RAMPS essential to advancing job opportunities in the Commonwealth.

RAMPS leaders expect about 200 students to be exposed to these technologies in the first year through pilot projects, followed by more robust and robust workforce training programs and programs. formalized to be developed in the years to come.

In addition to training workers, RAMPS will elevate the UofL programs at LARRI, AMIST and MNTC by further enhancing the high quality learning environment within these centers, attracting highly qualified faculty and talented students and increasing opportunities for additional funding.

Since the opening of LARRI’s dedicated robotics laboratory on the UdeL campus in Octoberit hosted more than 400 K-12 students, industry professionals, and researchers to learn about existing and potential uses for robots, drones, and other technologies.

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