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June 29, 2016

Professor Westmoreland to Lead New Smart Manufacturing Hub

sm_westmorelandProfessor Phil Westmoreland (B.S. '73) has been named the initial Executive Director of the NC State-based Southeast Region hub for the Department of Energy's new $200 million Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (SMII). President Barack Obama announced the creation of SMII on June 20 at the third annual SelectUSA Summit in Washington, D.C.

control-roomSmart Manufacturing is deep integration of manufacturing enterprises using the computers, software, networks, and knowledgeable users that is reshaping manufacturing operations. Extended by advanced sensors and controls, data analytics, advanced predictive modeling, and simulation software, real-time active management can be brought to all aspects of manufacturing and supply-chain enterprises as they operate.

SMII will focus on the areas of advanced sensors and controls, data analytics, advanced predictive modeling and simulation software, to develop software toolkits that will dramatically reduce energy expenses in advanced manufacturing. These cloud-based toolkits will be adaptable for customized use. SMII will also work to establish industry-accepted instrumentation standards that will expedite implementation of smart manufacturing resources by companies.

The new institute will be led by the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition (SMLC), based in Los Angeles, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. Coalition hubs will be based at NC State; the University of California, Los Angeles; Texas A&M University; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The NC State hub is charged with developing strategies to reverse existing trends of rising energy and technology adoption costs within manufacturing operations, and with increasing the number of workers who are skilled in the use of smart manufacturing tools. The hub's technical focus will be on the energy-intensive pulp and paper, vehicles, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, primary metals and carbon fiber industries.

The Institute's ultimate goal is to empower the United States to regain its preeminence in the world as a manufacturing economy. Professor Westmoreland joined the CBE faculty in 2009. His selection as Executive Director of the NC State hub is based, in part, on his long-standing advocacy of smart manufacturing as a means to transform America's manufacturing industries. His selection is also based on leadership skills he demonstrated as President of the AIChE, Program Director at the National Science Foundation, and as Executive Director of the NC State Institute for Computational Science and Engineering.

Congratulations Professor Westmoreland!

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