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Economic advancement group learns about UofL resources

by Mark Hebert, communications and marketing last modified Mar 01, 2012 03:54 PM

Rapid prototyping. Additive manufacturing. Clean room.

Economic advancement group learns about UofL resources

A BEAM representative looks at a sample produced at the rapid prototype lab at Speed School of Engineering.

Those were some of the words being tossed around as a group from the Louisville/Lexington BEAM initiative toured the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus Feb. 29.

BEAM is a creation of the mayors of Louisville and Lexington and stands for the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement. Its goal is to foster more research and manufacturing collaborations between Kentucky’s two largest cities and research universities in the hopes of attracting more entrepreneurs, companies and jobs to central Kentucky.

Eleven people, including Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, joined the tour, which made stops at the Speed Engineering School’s rapid prototype lab and the clean room in the Shumaker Research Building.

UofL President James Ramsey told the group that, for UofL and the University of Kentucky, “there’s a time to compete and a time to collaborate.” Ramsey said the two schools are already working together on more than 100 projects, because they realize that Kentucky’s research and economic prospects are strengthened by cooperation.

During the stop at the rapid protype lab, industrial engineering professor Brent Stucker explained that UofL has “the best collection of technology in the whole world for additive manufacturing,” bringing a great opportunity to attract companies that want to be closer to the place where special parts for their products are being made. Kevin Walsh led the clean room tour, showing off UofL’s ability to produce microscopic items in an ultra-clean environment.

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