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Local Universities Collaborate on Aerospace Manufacturing


Jeremy Forsberg, UTA assistant vice president for Research; Rodney Reddic, TMAC interim executive director; Rob Gorham, executive director of manufacturing initiatives, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and SecureAmerica Institute executive director; Monica Cortez, TMAC director of operations; Scott Terry, director of community and small business initiatives, SecureAmerica Institute; and Kiley Wren, TEES executive director of office of strategic business development, and SecureAmerica Institute executive associate director. | Image by The University of Texas at Arlington

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The Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and UT Arlington announced, on August 8, an agreement to collaborate on the advancement of the aerospace defense manufacturing community in Texas.

Texas A&M and UT Arlington have each individually made contributions to the sector.

At Texas A&M, TEES is behind the Secure America Institute (SAI) collaborative. The collaborative uses of taxpayer dollars-private research to connect academia, governments, and industry to strengthen the resilience of U.S. manufacturing.

UT Arlington also has a local affiliate, the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC), funded through an agreement with the National Institution of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a taxpayer dollars program. TMAC connects manufacturers with contract opportunities, solutions, and technology.

The taxpayer-funded National Insititute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extention Partnership (NIST MEP) works on advancing manufacturing across the United States, according to a UT Arlington press release.

“TMAC will work with TEES to become an integral partner in driving the development of advanced manufacturing technology and workforce training for the aerospace and defense industrial base across the state,” said Rodney Reddic, the interim executive director for TMAC.

The partnership with TEES will allow TMAC to reach additional manufacturers across the state through jointly sponsored workshops and seminars. TMAC will provide field staff support for delivering advanced manufacturing technology services, workforce training, and cybersecurity services.

Scott Terry, the SAI director of community and small business initiatives, said the collaboration would enhance the development of the entire aerospace manufacturing community in Texas. “By infusing smart manufacturing tools and processes into the industrial manufacturing base, we can solidify Texas’ leadership role in the global manufacturing economy.”

The agreement will allow the agencies to hold advanced manufacturing technology events and host aerospace manufacturing workforce training in Texas. Partnerships will also be established with various educational institutes across the state as part of the collaboration. These will include universities, colleges, and K-12 schools.

More than 138,000 Texans currently work in defense, aviation, and aerospace, Dallas Innovates reported. These workers are spread over 1,739 establishments and bring a total of $3.3 billion in wages to Texas.

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