Tony Overfelt, Auburn Uni
Tony Overfelt, the inaugural director of Auburn University's Centre of Industrialised Additive Manufacturing.
The university hope the centre can help establish them as a leading researcher in a growing sector of the manufacturing industry. To help progression in the research and development of 3D printing, Auburn University have selected Tony Overfelt, the William and Elizabeth Reed Professor of Mechanical Engineering, as the centre’s inaugural director.
“The creation of the Centre for Industrialised Additive Manufacturing will help put Auburn at the forefront of this growing field of research,” said Christopher B. Roberts, dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. “This reaffirms our college’s commitment to advancing research in manufacturing, which is vital to the state of Alabama and the nation.”
With the $1.5m grant, Overfelt is expected to direct the research into ways for smaller manufacturing companies to use additive manufacturing for reliable, high-volume production of metal parts. Overfelt sees an opportunity to make Alabama a leader in AM and spur workforce development by immersing their students into the industry.
“Alabama has more installed additive manufacturing capacity than any other state and most countries,” said Overfelt. “One of our long-term goals is to make the state of Alabama the go-to place for additive manufacturing.”
Auburn has invested heavily in the additive manufacturing field by hiring new faculty members with expertise in the industry and creating state-of-the-art facilities, according to Overfelt. The university has also sought to purchase new industry-standard equipment, on par with that used at the Auburn-based GE Aviation plant, one of the leading pioneers in implementing industrialised additive manufacturing.
Auburn’s newly-appointed director of the Centre of Industrialised AM joined the university in 1991. He soon advanced to the rank of full professor while leading major research initiatives involving applications-focused research partnerships among government agencies, the private sector and leading research universities. During his time at the university, Overfelt has oversaw over $22m worth of externally-funded research.