UW-Platteville hosts materials and manufacturing network
PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville recently hosted the Regional Materials and Manufacturing Network (RM2N) Fall Symposium, a collaboration opportunity for members from the UW System campuses and regional industry partners working in the fields of materials and materials-related manufacturing.
As the symposium host, UW-Platteville had the opportunity to showcase faculty expertise through a set of tutorial sessions, facilities and equipment through tours and presentations, and serve as a platform for networking and collaborating with industry. More than 25 academic members from nine of the UW System campuses participated in the symposium, along with approximately 15 members from industry and 20 UW System students.
“It takes a lot of work to organize an event like this, but it is extremely rewarding to see the value it creates,” said Dr. Gokul Gopal, assistant professor of engineering physics at UW-Platteville. “Our main goal was to connect industry with faculty expertise and student talent, and we achieved that while advancing the mission of the RM2N and promoting the Wisconsin Idea. An unexpected, but pleasantly surprising, outcome was that the symposium provided valuable networking among industry partners as well. In just the week following the symposium, I heard back from one of our industry sponsors who said that, thanks to the symposium, their company had received orders from two other companies that had attended.”
In addition to tutorial sessions and presentations, the symposium also featured a senior design project breakout session. During this time, industry personnel met with faculty and discussed their needs and wants for future senior design partnerships.
“Faculty are often the ones who reach out to industry to create partnerships for senior design projects,” Gopal said. “By including this session in the symposium, we learned exactly what industry members are looking for in a more convenient setting.” He added that multiple senior design project ideas and partnerships were established during the session, including a new senior design initiative that involves student teams from four different UW campuses.
The symposium also featured student poster presentations, allowing students from the UW System to present work related to computational or analytical methods used for materials or manufacturing. The presentations were judged by those in attendance, and Jamison Tibbetts, chemistry major at UW-Platteville, won first place honors in the poster competition.
“Presenting my research in the RM2N symposium's poster session was a highly valuable experience as it allowed me to share my work with other student researchers,” Tibbetts said. “I was also able to attend a tutorial session which gave me useful hands-on experience with a particle-sizing instrument which I am excited to use in my future research.”
Plans for next year’s symposium at UW Oshkosh are already in the works. For more information about this year’s symposium, visit http://wiscmat.org/2017-fall-symposium/.
Written by: Amanda Bertolozzi, Writer/Editor, Communications, 608-342-7121, firstname.lastname@example.org
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