TEXAS – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley will host its second National Manufacturing Expo and Exhibition this coming Feb. 16-17 on the Edinburg Campus.
With support from two national consortia – DoD I-DREAM4D and DOE CA2REERS – the College of Engineering and Computer Science will host the two-day event aimed at middle schools, high schools, college students, teachers and parents in an effort to promote and cultivate interest in manufacturing innovation and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.
The first day will feature speakers from a variety of manufacturing organizations, including the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Defense STEM, Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Naval Systems Command (NAVSEA), Oakridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) program.
UTRGV indicated the expo will take place in the Edinburg Performing Arts Complex A (EPACA) Auditorium and move to three different locations on campus (engineering lobby, ballroom, and TMAC building), where Department of Energy labs, defense contractors, energy companies, South Texas manufacturers, and Valley regional partners will share briefings and live demonstrations.
Jianzhi Li, UTRGV manufacturing engineering professor and principal investigator of the I-DREAM4D and CA2REERS project, said the purpose of this expo is to provide research and educational opportunities for UTRGV students, help create good-paying jobs in South Texas, and revitalize a world-class U.S. manufacturing base and workforce in the United States.
“World-class manufacturing requires a world-class workforce with interdisciplinary STEM knowledge and skills,” Li said.
The second day will feature information sessions on internships, fellowships and employment opportunities at DoD labs, Department of Energy (DoE) labs and manufacturing companies.
Students from the Center for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation and Cyber Systems (CAMICS) will showcase their research in smart manufacturing, additive manufacturing, robotics and cyber manufacturing driven by AI (Artificial Intelligence), the Internet of Things and data analytics.