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LIFT: Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow

LIFT: Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow
Home // LIFT Learning Lab // Test – LIFT Learning Lab Partners

Test – LIFT Learning Lab Partners

The LIFT Learning Lab has been designed in close coordination with leading industry experts to incorporate state-of-the art facilities and world-class curriculum. Our partners include:

Fundamental Skills Development Lab

AmatrolAmatrol designs, develops and manufactures technical learning systems, highly interactive eLearning, hands-on simulators, and more to train tomorrow’s global workforce for many diverse industries such as manufacturing, oil and gas, packaging, etc. Colleges, universities, and high schools as well as companies use Amatrol’s made-in-the-USA products to teach individuals technical and workplace skills ranging from entry level basic technical skills to advanced technology troubleshooting for both degree and certification preparation.

Amatrol has a rich history beginning in 1964, when it was created as the educational division of Dynafluid, an industrial automation systems manufacturer that designed systems for many Fortune 500 companies including Coca Cola, General Electric, Alcoa, Ford, Chrysler, and others.  Amatrol was in a unique position to effectively develop training programs for these technologies because its engineers and technicians were thoroughly familiar with the design, application and maintenance of them.

Amatrol, short for Automated Machine Controls, was founded in 1978 as a division and was formally incorporated as a separate company in 1981. Since that time Amatrol has grown significantly, becoming the leading company in its primary market segments. 

PAST Foundation – Founded in 2000, by an international group of anthropologists, field and research scientists, museum curators and educators, PAST Foundation works to answer the question: how can we connect real world scientific research with classrooms and the public? PAST helps schools and districts develop transformative learning strategies. PAST’s intensive hands-on approach with administrators and teachers is intensive. PAST faculty are anthropologists, researchers and educators. Their work in school design and consultation guides schools as they transition to transdisciplinary problem-based STEM learning. Teacher engagement, student learning and community involvement in these schools are transformative.

After 18 years of transforming education through this unique approach, PAST launched PAST Innovation Lab. Connecting directly with teachers through online professional development courses, a MAEd program and on-site workshops allows impacts more classrooms and expands learning opportunities for teachers and students everywhere. 

America Makes – America Makes – a Manufacturing USA national innovation lab — is the national accelerator for additive manufacturing and 3D printing and is the nation’s leading and collaborative partner in AM and 3DP technology research, discovery, creation, and innovation.  America Makes is structured as a public-private partnership with member organizations from industry, academia, government, non-government agencies, and workforce and economic development resources. 

MxD [Manufacturing X Digital]  — a Manufacturing USA national innovation lab — equips U.S. factories with the digital tools and expertise they need to begin building every part better than the last.  The institute has invested nearly $90 million in more than 60 applied research and development projects in areas including Design, Product Development, and Systems Engineering; Future Factor; Agile, Resilient Supply Chain; and Cybersecurity. 

The Ohio State UniversityThe Ohio State University, commonly referred to as Ohio State or OSU, is a large public research university in Columbus, Ohio. Founded in 1870 as a land-grant university and the ninth university in Ohio, it has since grown into the third-largest university campus in the United States.  Along with its main campus in Columbus, Ohio State also operates regional campuses in Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark, and Wooster.  The Ohio State University is among the top 12 U.S. public research universities and 3rd among all universities in industry-sponsored research. It is also named as one of the most innovative universities in the nation (U.S. News & World Report).

University Prep Schools — As one of the longest-standing tuition-free public charter systems in Detroit, University Prep Schools (UPrep Schools) encompasses three districts and nine campuses serving K-12 students from all corners of the city. Through a combination of individualized and Expeditionary Learning models, UPrep Schools’ students are afforded the unique opportunity to learn in an environment that extends education beyond the confines of the traditional classroom. UPrep has made a 90/90 promise to students, which guarantees a minimum graduation rate of 90 percent and a college acceptance rate of 90 percent.  Follow up studies of the University Prep Academy class of 2007 shows that at least 90% went on to college, 83% of those who attended a four-year university re-enrolled for a second year, and 57% of those who attended a two-year college re-enrolled for a second year, beating national re-enrollment averages. UPrep has surpassed the 90/90 standard with every graduating class since. 


CNC Operations Training Center

Haas Automation — Haas Automation, Inc is an American machine tool builder headquartered in Oxnard, California, that designs and manufactures precision machine tools and specialized accessory tooling, mostly computer numerically controlled (CNC), such as vertical machining centers and horizontal machining centerslathes/turning centers, and rotary tables and indexers. Most of its production and manufacturing process occurs at the company’s main facility in Oxnard.

Haas is one of the largest machine tool builders in the world by total unit volume.  The company has regional headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Shanghai, China, and Mumbai, India.

National Institute for Metalworking Skills — The National Institute for Metalworking Skills [NIMS] was formed in 1995 by the nation’s major metalworking trade associations to develop and maintain a globally competitive American workforce.  NIMS has a stakeholder base of over 6,000 metalworking companies including the major industry trade associations:  Association for Manufacturing Technology, American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association, National Tooling & Machining Association, Precision Machine Products Association, Precision Metalforming Association, and Tooling and Manufacturing Association.  These metalworking companies and their associations have invested over $7.5 million in private funds for the development of the NIMS standards and credentials, and they are committed to the upgrading and maintenance of the standards as the industry evolves.

Gene Haas FoundationIn 1999 the Gene Haas Foundation was formed to support the charitable needs within their local community. As the Foundation grew, so did the need for a stronger manufacturing workforce. The unfortunate truth is that the USA and Canada are losing manufacturers at an alarming rate. Young people are being told that the U.S. doesn’t manufacture products anymore. Young people are getting the wrong message. Those perceptions and subsequent decisions have led to a critical crossroads in our vocational education system.

For these reasons, the focus and mission of the Gene Haas Foundation has shifted strategically to align with the needs of the educational community to support manufacturing. Today, the goal of the Foundation is to introduce students to careers in machining and related technologies. This is primarily accomplished by funding student scholarships for graduating high school students, displaced workers, and military veterans.


Welding Technician Training Center 

Miller Electric – Miller Electric leads the welding industry by building advanced, solution-focused products and meeting crucial needs for welding safety. Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, and wholly owned by Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW), the company maintains its industry leadership by setting the standard for reliability, quality and responsiveness.

American Welding Society – The American Welding Society [AWS] was founded in 1919 as a multi-faceted nonprofit organization with a goal to advance the science, technology and application of welding and related joining disciplines.  From factory floor to high-rise construction, from military weaponry to home products, AWS continues to lead the way in supporting welding education and technology development to ensure a strong and competitive way of life for all Americans.  AWS serves more than 70,500 members worldwide.  Membership consists of engineers, scientists, educators, researchers, welders, inspectors, company executives and offices, and corporate members, educational institutions and more.  Member interests include automatic, semi-automatic, and manual welding, as well as brazing, soldering, ceramics, composites, robotics, thermal spray, and welding safety and health.


ASM Materials Science and Project Fabrication Lab 

ASM Materials Education Foundation ASM International, formerly known as the American Society for Metals, is a professional organization for materials scientists and engineers.  In 1952, the society established the ASM Materials Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3), non-profit supporting organization, to encourage education and scholarships.  For 65 years, the organization has been devoted to promoting applied science careers for students and teachers. The ASM Materials Education Foundation provides for the advancement of scientific and engineering knowledge through its support of education and research.

EcoTek Labs— ECOTEK is a science research organization made up of future scientists and engineers from major urban centers. Student scientists in Ecotek range in age from 10 to 17 and are actively interested in solving international problems through science. The students work on a wide range of science projects to understand the role science plays in policy making at a global level.


Smart Factory and Automation Lab

Siemens Siemens is a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. In infrastructure and industry solutions the company plays a pioneering role.  With its technological innovations, Siemens supports industrial enterprises to become more productive, efficient and flexible, and fully leverage the power of Industry 4.0in nearly all countries of the world. As of September 30, 2017, Siemens had around 372,000 employees).

ComauComau is an Italian multinational company based in Turin, Italy and is a subsidiary of automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Comau is an integrated company in the industrial automation field with an international network of 35 operative centers, 15 manufacturing plants and 5 “innovation centers” worldwide.


LIFT Education and Workforce Development 


In the past 5 years, the LIFT Education & Workforce Development team has partnered with close to 150 education, workforce development, and economic development officials and organizations to model manufacturing education and workforce initiatives across the full scope of K-12, community and technical colleges, universities, non-traditional learning alternatives, workforce development non-profits, companies and business organizations.  These “LIFT State Team” members continue to provide input, advice and guidance to the LIFT Education and Workforce Development portfolio.

Specific to Michigan, LIFT’s state team was comprised of more than 50 organizations who were actively involved in informing the vision of the Learning Lab. LIFT has partnered with several community based organizations active in the Detroit area, all of whom LIFT is continuing discussions to recruit and support students for the Learning Lab, including but not limited to: Goodwill Industries, Focus: Hope, Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (Michigan Works!), Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (Michigan Works!), Southeast Michigan Works!, and  the Michigan STEM Partnership.

Also prominent as advisors to that portfolio and the continuing design and development of the LIFT Learning Lab have been the members of the Institutes’ Expert Educator Team:

Fazleena Badurdeen, University of KentuckyAssociate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering

Amy Clarke, Colorado School of Mines, Amy Clarke is an Associate Professor and Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Site Director in the Center for Advanced Non-Ferrous Structural Alloys

Mel Cossette, MatEdU, Executive Director/Principal Investigator for the National Resource Center

Chad Duty, University of Tennessee, Associate Professor of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering

Muhammad Jahan, Miami (Ohio) University, Assistance Professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Gene Liao, Wayne State University,  Professor of Engineering Technology, Electric-drive Vehicle Engineering

Kapil Madathil, Clemson University, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Industrial Engineering

Kelly Zeleznik, Lorain County Comm College, Dean of the Engineering, Business and Information Technologies Division and the Nord Advanced Technologies Center at Lorain County Community College

Rebecca Taylor, National Center for Manufacturing SciencesSenior Vice President for the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS)

Jim Woodell, Association for Public and Land Grant UniversitiesVice President for Economic Development and Community Engagement