On Friday, Oct. 6, in celebration of Manufacturing Day, the School of Engineering opened its doors to students, educators, businesspeople, media, politicians, and regional manufacturers for a glimpse of Rensselaer’s vision and expertise in innovative education and research in manufacturing. The campus community was on hand to view the 7:30 a.m. arrival of a New York Air National Guard Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.

The helicopter, which was piloted by Captain Forest Thrush ’12 and Captain Thomas Brunschmid, was on display for public viewing from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. Sikorsky is known as a world leader in the design, manufacture, and service of military and commercial helicopters; fixed-wing aircraft; spare parts and maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft; and civil helicopter operations.

The School of Engineering kicked off the annual National Manufacturing Day activities during the Manufacturing Innovation Learning Laboratory (MILL) open house, on Oct. 4. Shekhar Garde, dean of the School of Engineering, and Troy Mayor Patrick Madden delivered brief remarks, as Rensselaer joined hands with the city of Troy to celebrate the city’s heritage in manufacturing.

“Each year, we look forward to celebrating the National Manufacturing Day with our students and the community,” said Garde. “Rensselaer’s School of Engineering is defining and leading 21st-century technological education. There is a great tradition of manufacturing education and research at Rensselaer. Over the past 20 years, we have built new research platforms and recruited outstanding faculty who are breaking new ground in advanced manufacturing in a range of areas from clean energy, to robotics, to biotechnology. Technologies that will emerge from this work will accelerate American innovation, make new products, and create jobs around the country, New York state, and in the Capital Region. We hope that National Manufacturing Day activities on our campus will excite young students about manufacturing, show them how technology can and does change the world, and inspire them to pursue careers in science and engineering.”

“Manufacturing continues to play a major part in the economic revitalization of not only Troy, but the Capital Region, and our entire nation” said Mayor Patrick Madden. “Through events like National Manufacturing Day, we can connect young people to unique career opportunities in this rapidly growing industry and encourage them to explore the possibilities that manufacturing jobs can bring to improving our local community, state, and larger world. The city of Troy is proud to again partner with Rensselaer to support their efforts which celebrate local companies, manufacturers, and organizations who are leading this important program each year.”

Nearly 250 area high school students visited campus to attend the National Manufacturing Day program on Oct. 6. In addition to Dean Garde, program speakers included Swetha Sriram ’18, an industrial and management engineering major and a representative of the 2017 ASME National Student Design and Manufacturing team; Michael Lobsinger, center director for the Center for Economic Growth Business Growth Services; Sam Chiappone, director of manufacturing innovation in the School of Engineering; and local elected officials, including city of Troy Mayor Patrick Madden, and New York State Assemblyman John T. McDonald III.

Ryan Patry ’00, manager of manufacturing technology at Sikorsky Aircraft, delivered the keynote address along with Jaime Lord ’18, an aeronautical/mechanical dual engineering major. Patry shared his experiences in manufacturing, and the importance of the innovative and versatile field in terms of the current national climate and future generations. Lord, who participated in Sikorsky manufacturing summer internships in 2016 and 2017, shared her experiences in manufacturing.

“I am truly proud to be part of a team to showcase the manufacturing programs here at RPI in support of National Manufacturing Day,” said Chiappone. “The opportunity to have Rensselaer students and sponsors share their experiences with local high school students is the perfect way to make our guests aware of the career and educational opportunities available in manufacturing. This national event is a great way to inspire the next generation of leaders and innovators in manufacturing and we are pleased to once again be part of the effort.”

Following the keynote address, the high school students visited several advanced manufacturing facilities at Rensselaer, including the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS), School of Architecture Fabrication Shop, the Biomedical Prototype Fabrication Studio, Nano-M3 Design Lab, the Micro and Nano Fabrication Clean Room, Haas Technical Center, the Additive Manufacturing Lab, and the HASS 3-D Prototyping Lab, among others. The students also visited the MILL, where Rensselaer students showcased their manufacturing projects.

The National Manufacturing Day activities at Rensselaer are supported by Sikorsky Aircraft, Snap-On, the Center for Economic Growth, Chief Executives Network for Manufacturing of the Capital Region, New York State Air National Guard, Manufacturing Processes and Systems Class Invisibell Team, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, as well as the MILL at Rensselaer.