Gov. Tom Wolf at the launch of Manufacturing PA in 2018. Photo used by permission via Gov. Wolf / via Flickr.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development has unveiled the list of awardees for its Manufacturing PA fellowship program. Once again, Pittsburgh’s elite research community got a lot of love.

Launched in 2017, the program embeds some of the state’s highest-achieving graduate and undergraduate students with local manufacturers. The students then embark on research projects to develop new technologies and advance innovation statewide.

“Manufacturing has a rich history in Pennsylvania and continues to be important to economic development and sustainability, and these funded partnerships promote research innovation in an ever-evolving industry,” David A. Vorp, associate dean for research at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, told NEXTpittsburgh.

“On behalf of our faculty,” Vorp said, “I want to thank Governor Wolf and the Commonwealth for supporting manufacturing research and encouraging collaboration between our universities and local manufacturers.”

Support for specific projects ranges from $25,000 to $70,000 each. Last Friday the state awarded a total of $1.7 million in grant support for various projects. Here’s a breakdown of some of the local fellowships:

-University of Pittsburgh

Students from Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering with will head to Kennametal in Latrobe to study 3D printing of complex ceramics parts and to General Carbide Corporation in Greensburg to design innovative composite metals.

-Robert Morris University

One of the RMU students will be working with MECCO in Cranberry to develop laser welding systems for the plastics manufacturing industry.

-Carnegie Mellon University

Leading the pack with six awards, CMU students will build monitoring systems for 3D printing with Bosch, design 3D-printed medical implants with ExOne, introduce AI to the supply chain of the Perryman Company in Washington County and much more.

Check out the full list of awardees here.

The fellowships are just one pillar of Gov. Wolf’s broader Manufacturing PA Initiative.

Administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development, the program also awards grants for partnerships between private companies and supports the state’s network of Industrial Resource Centers, which offer technical assistance to local manufacturers.

“There is a direct correlation between manufacturing innovation and economic growth,” Gov. Wolf said in a press release about the grants. “My administration continues working to foster a robust innovation culture and strong partnerships between academia and the business sector across the state. Working together, we are positioning Pennsylvania as a manufacturing leader in the nation.”

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.