President Obama is seeking $1 billion to make the U.S. a world leader in advanced manufacturing. The National Institute of Standards & Technology is hosting multi-agency workshops around the country to gather public input. The next will be Sept. 27 at the Arnold & Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences & Engineering.

UCI is already leading the way in biomedical and additive manufacturing (also known as desktop factories or 3-D printing), which lets users design prototypes on their computers and print them out.

As these technologies develop at a record pace, there is a critical need for highly trained engineers – 600,000 more in coming years. UCI and Saddleback College students are turning ideas into finished products via a unique partnership at the National Center for Rapid Technologies, funded by the National Science Foundation and housed in UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering. RapidTech is the only nonprofit on a U.S. campus that trains community college and university students side by side, creating the workforce of tomorrow.

“After the digital revolution, this type of engineering work was considered lowbrow,” said UCI mechanical engineering professor Marc Madou. “Now we’re creating the supply chain of the future. Graduate and community college students learn skills that will create the next generation of solid, middle-class jobs in the U.S.”


Media are invited to take a “sneak peek” at products being created in UC Irvine labs the day before a national advanced manufacturing conference on campus. Bonus: Hear Mike Molnar, chief manufacturing officer of the National Institute of Standards & Technology, speak to engineering students and faculty.

9 a.m.: Media tour of Rapid Tech, fourth floor of Engineering Tower (bldg. 303, grid G8 on campus map)

11 a.m.: Molnar talk, California Institute for Telecommunications & Information Technology. (CalIT2, grid H8, bldg. 325 on campus map)

09:00 a.m.

Imagine spinning a drop of blood in a CD and knowing in minutes whether you have a deadly virus. Imagine printing out a three-dimensional replica of a blinded soldier’s skull, helping surgeons restore his sight. Women, imagine a “no squish” breast cancer detector.