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May 13, 2003

Jischke, Kernan, manufacturing leaders meet on advanced manufacturing

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The results of a feasibility study on establishing an advanced manufacturing institute at Purdue will be discussed during a conference at the university May 20.

Purdue’s second advanced manufacturing conference, Summit 2: Advancing Manufacturing, will kick off at 9 a.m. in Fowler Hall in Stewart Center. Purdue President Martin C. Jischke and Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan will be among the first speakers. Other participants are John A. Schneider, assistant vice president for industry research/outreach; Don K. Gentry, Purdue’s vice provost for engagement; Patrick Kiely, president and CEO of the Indiana Manufacturers Association; and Lee Lewellen, vice president of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP).

Jischke, Kiely and Lewellen will respond to questions from an audience of the more than 300 Indiana manufacturers, representatives of state agencies and academics who have been invited to attend.

Schneider said, "We started a conversation at last year’s advanced manufacturing summit about whether Purdue’s engineering, technical and managerial resources could be put into service to help Indiana’s manufacturing companies. Since then, we’ve surveyed Indiana manufacturers, and they are overwhelmingly supportive of the concept."

Kiely said, "Here in Indiana we’re at a crossroads in determining what portion of the state’s economy will stay in manufacturing and how much it can grow in years to come. Indiana has been a leader in manufacturing, and it’s valuable to bring together representatives of manufacturing statewide so we can put together the right technology and skilled workers to continue to contribute to the economic health of the state and its people."

The Central Indiana Corporate Partnership sponsored the advanced manufacturing institute feasibility study. The institute would help Indiana manufacturers with design methods, process technology, organizational structures and worker skills and training. An earlier CICP-sponsored study concluded advanced manufacturing methods need to be instituted in large and small companies in all of the state’s manufacturing sectors: automotive, food processing, electronics, steel and pharmaceuticals.

A year ago, James J. Solberg, Ransburg Professor of Manufacturing, undertook the first study on the need for an advanced manufacturing institute at Purdue. Professor Solberg defined the advanced manufacturing concept as "making progress in virtually every aspect of manufacturing."

Lewellen said, "From CICP’s point of view, we’re trying to focus awareness on the existing assets at Purdue and in the state to fuel a research-and-development climate. That climate, together with a trained workforce, can lead to a rebirth and renewal of Indiana’s manufacturing into an advanced manufacturing cluster. This second summit will help us explore how to go from here to there."

Afternoon panels will consider work-force development, technology transfer, applied manufacturing research and the creation of corporate growth.

The summit concludes at 3:45 p.m.

There is no registration fee for the conference or lunch, but registration is required. Those who wish to attend or have questions about lodging or transportation may contact conference coordinator Kathy Walters at (800) 359-2968, kw@purdue.edu. A registration also is available online at http://www.conf.purdue.edu/summit.

Note to journalists: Speakers at Summit 2: Advancing Manufacturing include President Martin C. Jischke at 9:15 a.m. and Lt. Gov. Joe Kernan and 9:45 a.m. Purdue alumnus and benefactor Richard E. Dauch, co-founder, CEO and chairman of American Axle & Manufacturing, will give the luncheon keynote address at 12:30 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union South Ballroom.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu

Sources: John Schneider, (765) 494-45532, jas@purdue.edu

Patrick Kiely, (317) 632-2474, pkiely@imaweb.com

Lee Lewellen, (317) 638-2440, lewellen@cincorp.com

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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