The Energy Innovation Center is about to become even more innovative.
On Monday, Robert Morris University’s School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science announced its plans to bring an entire laboratory dedicated to 3D printing to the Energy Innovation Center on Bedford Avenue.
In addition to supplying equipment, RMU will provide staff and the curriculum for a six-week certificate course in manufacturing engineering that will be open to all members of the community. The 18 credits from the certificate can be applied toward a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
RMU also plans to offer its “Empowering Pennsylvania’s Workforce for Employment in Manufacturing” program at the EIC. The free, 42-hour job training program is funded through a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.
“We are gratified to be able to bring our manufacturing and engineering expertise to the Energy Innovation Center and to expand on RMU’s work in meeting the needs of the Pittsburgh region’s workforce,” said Maria Kalevitch, dean of the RMU School of Engineering, Mathematics and Science.
Formerly the Connelley Trade School, the 208,000-square-foot EIC is a nonprofit dedicated to workforce development for underserved communities, with a particular focus on giving students a path toward work in the green and sustainable design industry.
3D printing, or additive manufacturing as it’s known among experts, is expected to revolutionize green design and dozens of other technical fields. With the engineering departments at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon working on the cutting edge of the technology, Pittsburgh has emerged as a leader in the burgeoning industry, which is projected to have a $21 billion market by 2021.
Alongside classes offered by Carnegie Mellon University, Robert Morris University, Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh, the building offers a wide range of coworking spaces and community services for the Lower Hill. At the basement level, there is a 9,500-square-foot Community Kitchen facility with a menu and head chef that rotates weekly.
“The EIC is eager for this collaboration to begin. We envision working with RMU on every element of this center’s mission,” said Robert Meeder, president and CEO of Pittsburgh Gateways Corporation, the nonprofit organization that founded, owns and operates the EIC.
A ribbon-cutting celebration for the RMU 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing Laboratory will take place at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6. Find information about courses here.