The third annual CATS/CEG Advanced Manufacturing Conference, hosted by the Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) at Rensselaer and the Center for Economic Growth (CEG), was held October 14 at the Desmond Albany Hotel and Conference Center in Albany. Themed “What’s Next?” the daylong conference brought together leaders from industry, government, and academia to explore emerging ways to leverage advances in manufacturing processes and systems to speed innovation and product commercialization, advance cost-effective onshore manufacturing, and better compete in the global marketplace.

Wayne Frost.

Wayne Frost.

“We were very pleased to have Wayne Frost as our keynote speaker for this year’s Advanced Manufacturing Conference,” said Craig Dory, CATS director for business development and general chair of the 2015 AMC. “As president of the SME, Mr. Frost is keenly aware of the challenges and opportunities facing manufacturers today.”

The 2015 CATS/CEG Advanced Manufacturing Conference built upon the successes of previous conferences held in April 2013 and April 2014. This year’s conference was moved to October to better align with National Manufacturing Day activities throughout the region. It featured workshops and discussions on leading-edge topics in materials processing and manufacturing systems, and also featured key topics in business-focused sessions and training.

New for this year’s conference was a networking session focused on job opportunities in manufacturing, an informal event designed for manufacturers to meet directly with local engineering students interested in internships and careers in manufacturing.

A poster and exhibits session featured a broad array of industrially focused projects and areas of research, which offered opportunities for one-on-one interaction with student and faculty researchers and industrial researchers, and offered examples of successful university-industry partnerships.