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UT Manufacturing and Design Innovation Showcase

UT is a leader in advanced manufacturing and design across a diverse range of disciplines—from scientists and engineers generating discoveries that drive manufacturing innovation to designers uniting novel materials and fabrication techniques to conceptualize objects and spaces to sociologists analyzing labor trends and workforce needs to supply chain researchers providing insights that help businesses navigate challenging times to artists inspired by industrial spaces.

In October, UT is holding a showcase to help celebrate these many strengths and take UT’s collaborative research to even greater heights.

Who is hosting?

Co-hosts include the Office of Research, the College of Architecture & Design, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Haslam College of Business, the Institute of Agriculture, and the Tickle College of Engineering.

Who should attend?

The event is open to UT administrators, faculty, and staff. Please RSVP below.

When and where is the event?

Monday, October 17, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the new Manufacturing and Design Enterprise building at 2030 Valley Vista Rd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

Benefits of attending

  • Discover where UT’s manufacturing and design community is growing through a series of interesting lightning talks.
  • Meet potential collaborators to expand your research in new directions.
  • Learn how to contribute to the conversation as UT develops its future strategy for manufacturing and design.
  • Be inspired by the breadth of UT contributions in this space, including high-impact research, scholarship, and creative activities, nationally recognized workforce development programs, and complementary resources, infrastructure, and partnerships.

Showcase Details

8:00 – 9:20         Check-in, Breakfast, and Networking

9:20 – 9:30         Welcome Remarks

Deborah Crawford, Vice Chancellor for Research

9:30 – 10:30       Keynote Address

The Case for R+D_Research, Design, and Manufacturing

Tsz Yan Ng, Associate Professor of Architecture, Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

10:30 – 10:40     BREAK

10:40 – 11:30     Session 1: Lightning Talks

Marianne Wanamaker, Economics

Sai Swaminathan, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Felicia Francine Dean, Interior Architecture

Jon Shefner, Sociology

Mark Dadmun, Chemistry

Yishu Wang, Physics & Astronomy and Materials Science & Engineering

David Harper, Forestry, Wildlife, & Fisheries

Rupy Sawhney, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Kate Page, Materials Science & Engineering

11:30 – 1:00       Lunch and Panel Discussion

The Tennessee Manufacturing Workforce

Facilitator: Cortney Piper, President of Piper Communications

Panelists: Victoria Hirschberg, Assistant Vice President of Research, Outreach & Economic Development for the UT System; Matthew Murray, Director Emeritus of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy; Denise Rice, President and CEO of Peak Performance; Tony Schmitz, Professor of Mechanical, Aerospace, & Biomedical Engineering; and Jon Shefner, Professor of Sociology

1:00 – 1:45         Session 2: Lightning Talks

Maged Guerguis, Design & Structural Technology

Nikki Luke, Geography & Sustainability

Bradley Jared, Mechanical, Aerospace, & Biomedical Engineering

Suzie Allard, Information Sciences

Hongyu “Nick” Zhou, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Madhu Dhar, Large Animal Clinical Sciences

Niki Labbe, Forestry, Wildlife, & Fisheries

Wendy Tate, Supply Chain Management

Trevor Moeller, UT Space Institute

1:45 – 2:00         BREAK

2:00 – 2:40         Session 3: Lightning Talks

Tony Schmitz, Machine Tool Research Center

Jonathan Phipps, Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

Tom Rogers, UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm

Uday Vaidya, IACMI, The Composites Institute

Joan Bienvenue, UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute

James Rose, Institute for Smart Structures

Claudia Rawn, Manufacturing & Materials Joining Innovation Center

Paul Jennings, Center for Industrial Services

2:40 – 2:45         Closing Remarks and Next Steps

2:45 – 4:30         Reception

Keynote Speaker

Tsz Yan Ng

Associate Professor, Architecture

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

The Case for R+D_Research, Design, and Manufacturing

Tsz Yan Ng is the principal of an independent architecture and art practice with built works in the United States and China. She is also an associate professor of architecture at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning. Her practice, collaborative in nature and interdisciplinary in scope, ranges in scale from textile manufacturing facilities to commercial retail interiors or installations. Common to her practice and research are projects that deal with questions of labor in various facets and forms—underscoring broader issues of industrial manufacturing, human crafting, technology, and aesthetics. Her material-based research and design primarily focus on textile manipulation and experimental concrete forming, incorporating contemporary technologies to develop novel designs and innovative ways for building and manufacturing. She received her Master of Architecture II from Cornell University and her Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Professional Studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Session 1: Lightning Talks from the UT Manufacturing Community

Marianne Wanamaker

Professor, Economics

Executive Director, Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy

Tennessee’s Manufacturing and Design Labor Force

Labor availability is a key ingredient in any industry’s success. Wanamaker’s work focuses on the growth of Tennessee’s available labor force, including its composition and location, and its critical importance for our state’s manufacturing employers.

Sai Swaminathan

Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Computational Infrastructure Materials

The future of manufacturing physical infrastructure (buildings, roads, etc.) will rely on digital capabilities. Swaminathan’s work explores how manufacturing will produce infrastructure materials such as concrete, wood, and composites with low-power, integrated sensing, actuation, and wireless communication.

Felicia Francine Dean

Assistant Professor, Interior Architecture

Perception of Misconceptions 

Dean’s creative scholarship uncovers new material narratives through digital and hand-making design methods. Her experimental processes challenge digital fabrication perspectives in manufacturing and design by interfacing the research approach with traditional craft techniques.

Jon Shefner

Professor, Sociology

Director, Community University Research Collaboration Initiative

Deindustrialization Hurt Workers; Reindustrializing Has to Help Them

Shefner’s work focuses on the traditional exclusion of workers and communities from decision-making on topics so crucial to their lives, such as what gets produced, where, by whom, and with what kind of government investment. The only remedy for this traditional exclusion is careful research and  engagement to ensure that communities’ and workers’ voices are heard in ways that reduce economic, political, and social barriers to equitable wages with secure careers in sustainable workplaces.

Mark Dadmun

Paul and Wilma Ziegler Professor, Chemistry

From Molecules to Manufacturing: Developing Feedstocks for Improved Polymer Additive Manufacturing 

Current polymeric advanced manufacturing relies on polymers developed over 50 years ago that were designed for traditional manufacturing processes. Dadmun’s work uses polymer science principles to rationally design polymer feedstocks that are developed for the unique environments encountered in polymeric additive manufacturing to address current shortcomings, offer material solutions, and expand opportunities for polymeric advanced manufacturing.

Yishu Wang

Assistant Professor, Physics and Materials Science & Engineering

A Quantum Triangle: Physics, Materials, and Devices

Wang’s research seeks to harness the power of quantum mechanics to innovate the technological paradigm of industrial manufacturing. More specifically, she develops macroscopic manifestations of quantum mechanics in solid-state systems, and applies these so-called quantum materials to design next-generation devices.

David Harper

Professor, Forestry, Wildlife, & Fisheries and Materials Science & Engineering

Director, Center for Renewable Carbon

Transforming Tennessee to a Biobased Economy

Harper’s work enables the transformation of abundant and low-value waste streams into high-value products. He uses computational modeling informed by analytical methods to develop batteries, supercapacitors, composite materials, fiber composites, materials for environmental remediation, biomedical applications, and polymers with improved performance over materials currently available.

Rupy Sawhney

Professor and Heath Fellow, Industrial & Systems Engineering

Executive Director, Center for Advanced Systems Research & Innovation

Industry 5.0: A People-Centric Operational Excellence

Industry 4.0 is evolving into Industry 5.0, shifting the focus from digital systems, their connectivity and automation, to people and their interaction with these digital systems. An opportunity emerges to discuss the role of leadership and workforce development to enable this transition.

Kate Page

Assistant Professor, Materials Science & Engineering

Advanced Characterization as Part of the Materials Processing Structure/Performance Cycle

Page’s work explores the use of advanced x-ray and neutron scattering probe techniques and demonstrates how these tools can inform the development of manufactured materials from the atomic to the mesoscale, providing important feedback for the materials manufacturing design process.

Session 2: Lightning Talks from the UT Manufacturing Community

Maged Guerguis

Assistant Professor, Design & Structural Technology

Director, Soft Boundaries Lab

Robotic Fabrication of High-Performance Design

Guerguis’ work explores the intersections of architecture, engineering, and science and focuses on the development of high-performance designs using robotic fabrication, novel materials, and advanced computational design methods. In this framework, his research investigates the possibilities of additive manufacturing and its potential impact on the future of construction practices.

Nikki Luke

Assistant Professor, Geography & Sustainability

Energy Democracy at Work

Luke investigates how labor, environmental justice, and community organizations attempt to influence the development and implementation of clean energy to improve living and working conditions along the supply chain, including through labor standards and industrial and public policy.

Bradley Jared

Associate Professor, Mechanical, Aerospace, & Biomedical Engineering

Intelligent Metal Deposition for Large-Scale Part Fabrication

Jared’s research involves the control and optimization of metal deposition processes, notably adaptive welding and metal additive manufacturing. He explores design, automation, multi-mode sensing, and analytics to assure material integrity and part quality for a range of industries and applications.

Suzie Allard

Chancellor’s Professor, Information Sciences

Director, CCI Research & Innovation Center

Making Data Work to Advance Manufacturing

Manufacturing has significant data-driven components, which facilitate productivity by providing insights into processes, supporting the connectivity of value networks, and enabling cutting-edge advanced robotics and artificial intelligence-enabled systems. Allard’s research explores well-designed data governance approaches that manage data throughout its lifecycle so it can be used most effectively and can be relied on to be secure, robust, and persistent in manufacturing data ecosystems.

Hongyu “Nick” Zhou

Associate Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Large-Scale Additive Construction of Sustainable and Resilient Buildings and Infrastructure

Zhou’s work explores the intersection of additive and robotic construction of buildings and infrastructure, biomimetic design, and materials.

Madhu Dhar

Research Professor, Large Animal Clinical Sciences

Additive Manufactured Biomimetic Scaffolds Control Cell-Biomaterial Interactions for Tissue Regeneration

Tissue engineering is a strategy that requires a combination of scaffolds, biomaterials, and viable cells. Dhar’s work explores the use of additive manufacturing to produce scaffolds with controlled geometries and designs for tissue regeneration, to restore normal form and function.

Niki Labbe

Professor, Forestry, Wildlife, & Fisheries

Assistant Director, Center for Renewable Carbon

The Role of Bio-Derived Materials in Advanced Manufacturing

Bio-derived feedstocks contain functionality not present in other feedstocks, such as large amounts of oxygen and stereochemistry, providing opportunities to design new sustainable materials for the advanced manufacturing industry. These novel products will increase the value of domestic feedstocks, revitalize rural economies, produce additional sources of revenue for existing bioprocessing facilities, with the potential for lower toxicity, reduced life cycle impact, and reduced energy requirements.

Wendy Tate

McCormick Endowed Professor, Supply Chain Management

Ray and Joan Myatt Faculty Research Fellow

Supply Chain Management Involvement in Manufacturing and Design Innovation

Collaboration among companies within supply chains is vital to business success, contributing to innovation, mitigating supply disruption, responding to global market demand, improving quality, and focusing on sustainability. Procurement (sourcing) is the boundary spanner to the supply base and helps organizations become “the customer of choice” to suppliers, which helps manufacturers drive innovation and bring products to market faster.

Trevor Moeller

Jack D. Whitfield Professor, UT Space Institute

Unique Microfabrication Opportunities at Lightning Speeds 

Direct-write micromachining of materials with ultrafast lasers compresses and simplifies the R&D cycle for many modern cutting-edge applications that supersede the boundaries imposed by conventional manufacturing methods and commercial off-the-shelf components. It also paves new manufacturing avenues for hard-to-process materials, and actualizes otherwise impossible geometries, thus lifting constraints on design and producing innovative solutions while dramatically reducing costs and deployment times, and eliminating risks.

Session 3: Lightning Talks from Complementary Programs, Facilities, & Partners

Tony Schmitz

Professor and ORNL Joint Faculty, Mechanical, Aerospace, & Biomedical Engineering

Director, Machine Tool Research Center

The Machine Tool Research Center: Making Chips at UT and Beyond

The mission of the Machine Tool Research Center is to serve the discrete part of the manufacturing community and enable next-generation smart manufacturing. Center activities include research, development, education, training, and outreach for advanced manufacturing processes.

Jonathan Phipps

Interim Director, Institute for Advanced Materials & Manufacturing

Manufacturing at UT: A Prospective View

The Institute for Advanced Materials & Manufacturing brings together a community of faculty to address fundamental questions about the properties of matter and the application of this knowledge through the advancement of the manufacturing process. In doing so, the Institute seeks to improve life and lives while establishing itself as a pre-eminent institution for manufacturing science and engineering.

Tom Rogers

President and CEO, UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm

UT Research Park at Cherokee Farm: A Gateway for Collaboration and Innovation

The Research Park at Cherokee Farm is UT’s hub for collaborations with private industry partners, including resources that focus on entrepreneurship development and commercialization of regional technology-based startup companies.

Uday Vaidya

Governor’s Chair Professor, Advanced Composites Manufacturing

Chief Technology Officer, IACMI The Composites Institute

East Tennessee’s Advanced Composites and Hybrid Manufacturing Ecosystem

The University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and IACMI, The Composites Institute are working in synergy with industry partners to make East Tennessee a leader in energy-efficient advanced composites manufacturing, materials, and applications.

Joan Bienvenue

Executive Director, UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute

The UT-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute: Leveraging the Best of UT and ORNL for Industry Impact

Aligning the expertise and infrastructure of the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the UT0-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute is a hub for world-class discovery and innovation, interdisciplinary graduate education, and talent development. UT-ORII is focused on expanding and creating new collaborative opportunities and preparing the next generation of talent in manufacturing and other areas of national importance.

James Rose

Distinguished Lecturer, Architecture

Director, Institute for Smart Structures

Printing a New Architecture

The Institute for Smart Structures exists to identify and develop architectural applications for emerging technologies. Through collaborations with national laboratories and industry, the Institute connects students with a wide array of researchers on full-scale design/build projects.

Claudia Rawn

Professor, Materials Science & Engineering

Director, Center for Materials Processing

Manufacturing & Materials Joining Innovation Center (Ma2JIC) Partnerships

The Manufacturing and Materials Joining Innovation Center (Ma2JIC) develops advanced manufacturing technology associated with materials joining and metal additive manufacturing. The Center’s research projects use a mix of computational and experimental tools to achieve objectives and meet the needs of its broad-based industrial membership.

Paul Jennings

Executive Director, Center for Industrial Services

How the Center for Industrial Services Demonstrates Impact for Manufacturers

The Center for Industrial Services provides a range of training and consulting services that help manufacturers improve performance, reduce cost, invest in new technologies, increase sales, develop an effective workforce, and ensure a healthy and safe workplace. Our expertise and outreach capabilities, combined with our connections with economic and workforce development organizations, can contribute to a well-rounded proposal and provide impactful results for manufacturers.

The UT Manufacturing and Design Innovation Showcase will be held on Monday, October 17, 2022, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM in the new Manufacturing and Design Enterprise building at 2030 Valley Vista Rd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

For questions about the event, please contact Jennifer Webster ( in the Office of Research, Innovation, & Economic Development.

Registration for this event is now closed.