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UB to host major conference on advanced manufacturing and design


Published March 10, 2014

“This conference will bring together people, from our own backyard and across the world, who are developing solutions to the most pressing problems that we as a society face.”
Liesl Folks, dean
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

As many as 2,000 engineers will visit Western New York in August to participate in a four-day conference in downtown Buffalo hosted by UB that will focus on advanced manufacturing and design.

The conference will bring together industry leaders in medical devices, automobiles, aerospace, defense and other businesses, as well academics, students and government officials. They will discuss advancements in robotics, computer-aided engineering, 3-D printing and other emerging technologies.

In addition to Fortune 500 companies like General Electric and Lockheed Martin, the conference will include Moog, Praxair, AirSep and other firms in the Buffalo Niagara region.

The ASME 2014 International Design and Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE) will take place Aug. 17-20. ASME stands for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

As part of the conference, ASME will introduce a new program, the Advanced Design and Manufacturing Impact Forum, designed to highlight the opportunities and potential of the latest advanced manufacturing solutions.

“This conference will bring together people, from our own backyard and across the world, who are developing solutions to the most pressing problems that we as a society face. They’re building safer automobiles. They’re creating smarter medical devices. They’re making our factories more efficient,” says Liesl Folks, dean of the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Among the many speakers are Lt. Col. Dan Bailey, program manager for the Department of Defense’s Future Vertical Lift helicopter; Helmuth Ludwig, chief executive officer of Siemens industry sector in the United States; and Mike Hess, vice president of Bradycardia Research and Development in Medtronic’s Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management division.

Hosted recently in Portland, Ore., Chicago and Washington, D.C., the conference is a win for Buffalo, says Venkat Krovi, the conference’s general chair and UB associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

It comes as UB, working with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, commits its expertise and resources to help accelerate the development of emerging manufacturing technologies at the Advanced Manufacturing Institute, 847 Main St. in downtown Buffalo. Cuomo recently announced the state will spend $45 million on machinery, equipment and other needs for the facility, which will be operated by EWI, a nonprofit engineering services research-and-development company.

“The institute and the conference, as well as other initiatives at UB, illustrate that the university and the Buffalo Niagara region are moving in the right direction,” Krovi says. “We are working to advance the development and commercialization of design and manufacturing technologies that will support economic growth and create new, good-paying jobs in Western New York and beyond.”

UB also recently launched the New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics, which will utilize the university’s expertise in materials science, computer science and engineering to address a wide range of societal needs. That includes everything from the depletion of natural resources to the development of new technologies in medicine, energy, defense and other industries.

The conference will be held at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.