Seasoned educator tapped to lead additive manufacturing training center

by John R. Karman III

The leader of the soon-to-open training center on the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus is a well-recognized educator in the additive manufacturing field.

Ed Tackett is currently director of The RapidTech Center at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. He will become director of educational programs at the UL Additive Manufacturing Competency Center – and a UofL employee – on July 1.

The UL AMCC, which is scheduled to open this fall, will train engineers and other professionals from around the world on sophisticated 3D printing and other additive manufacturing machinery. UofL announced in May that it is opening the new training center with UL LLC, the Northbrook, Ill.-based global science safety company.

The center will be located on Arthur Street in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering’s Institute for Product Realization. Training initially will focus on metals, with a curriculum covering design set up, machine assembly, and parts production, inspection and testing.

Tackett was selected after a national search. He has led UC Irvine’s RapidTech Center, which helps researchers and entrepreneurs quickly design and build product prototypes, since 2010. He held previous positions with the South Orange County (California) Community College District, San Diego Community College District and the United States Navy.

“I am proud to be joining the elite team at the University of Louisville to assist them in continuing development of their advanced manufacturing ecosystem,” Tackett said. “I have spent 20 years in additive manufacturing training and education around these technologies. With the strong public-private partnerships forged at UofL, we will be unparalleled in our ability to deliver certification of materials, processes, machines, parts, safety, quality control and workforce training.”

“Ed is well known nationally for his additive manufacturing training work,” said Thomas Starr, associate dean for research and a professor of chemical engineering at the Speed School. “He is the perfect person to lead this partnership with UL.”