TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WSFA) - NASA and Tuskegee University will be partnering up on a project in an effort to provide students with the education and experience needed to help address manufacturing needs in the U.S. aerospace sector.
Tuskegee was one of three universities to be awarded grants through NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project.
The MUREP Aerospace High-Volume Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management Cooperative will provide almost $1.5 million to fund curriculum-based learning, research, training, internships, and apprenticeships at Tuskegee and two other universities chosen to partner with NASA in this project.
Through the collaboration with NASA and corporate partner Bell Helicopter, Tuskegee researchers will identify critical helicopter parts and develop business case for the use of 3-D printing in the manufacturing of those parts. The proposed work plan also includes an overview of the current status of aerospace high-volume manufacturing and supply chain, with a focus on Alabama’s aerospace industry.
During the next two years, the project will provide students with innovative opportunities to learn about designing and building aerospace parts using high-volume manufacturing practices, as well as supply chain management of those parts. It also will help the College of Engineering expand its existing additive manufacturing facilities and capabilities for the benefit of future academic and research efforts
Associate professor of mechanical engineering Dr. Firas Akasheh says recently, the U.S. aerospace industry has stuggled to meet the growing demand for aircraft and parts and says that 3-D printing offers an advantage.
“3D printing offers an incredible advantage to current manufacturing shortfalls that risk the nation’s aerospace industry maintaining its competitive edge and meeting its strategic requirements,” Akasheh said.
Akasheh will lead a multidisciplinary research team that includes co-principal investigators Dr. Vascar Harris, a professor of aerospace science engineering; Dr. Mohammad Hossain, an associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Dr. Mandoye Ndoye, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering.