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Hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the event couples the 41st North American Manufacturing Research Conference, sponsored by the North American Manufacturing Research Institute within the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the 2013 Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, sponsored ASME International.

“If you want ideas about things you might be able to implement or use in three to five years, this is a great place,” says Frank Pfefferkorn, a UW-Madison associate professor of mechanical engineering who is among the event organizers. “If you want to talk with the engineers developing these new ideas, then you definitely want to be at this conference.”

In addition to more than 260 technical papers and posters presented by experts from 26 countries, the conference features discussion panels that address the manufacturing “missing middle,” geometric interoperability challenges and potential solutions in advanced manufacturing, and sustainable manufacturing approaches and standards development.

Keynote speakers from government, academia and the private sector will kick off the conference. Tom Kurfess, a professor of mechanical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, will present an overview of the Obama administration’s endeavors to advance manufacturing, with a focus on the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, or NNMI. Ralph Resnick, founding director of the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, will discuss how this pilot center is working to create an adaptive workforce capable not only of meeting industry needs, but also increasing domestic manufacturing competitiveness. And Michael Molnar, chief manufacturing officer of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, will talk about how to build the NNMI as a new innovation ecosystem for advanced manufacturing and will review the three manufacturing institutes’ topics for 2013.

Two workshops held in conjunction with the conference are geared toward early-career professionals and students. The first covers National Science Foundation funding and commercialization opportunities for manufacturing research, while the second features several panelists with experience in industry, academia, government and national laboratories who will share keys for developing a successful manufacturing career. Conference registration is not required to attend the workshops; however, there is a nominal registration fee for each workshop.

For more information or to register for the conference or workshops, visit go.wisc.edu/namrc. Early registration for the conference ends May 10.

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