LIFT Partners With Michigan Technological University To Support Students In Advanced Manufacturing

Institute invests in programs to help students engage in advanced manufacturing work

DETROIT – LIFT—Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, a national manufacturing innovation institute operated by the American Lightweight Materials Innovation Institute (ALMMII), today announced it has partnered with Michigan Technological University (MTU) on two programs – an Advanced Metalworks research project, currently underway, and Materials Science Summer Youth Program, on campus later this summer – to support student engagement in advanced manufacturing.

Based in Houghton, Michigan in the state’s Upper Peninsula, MTU is recognized as a leading technology research university. The school, a LIFT member since 2014, is a key part of several technology programs, as LIFT’s focus on both lightweight materials research and development and education and workforce development continues.

“We have been quite fortunate to have MTU as a LIFT partner over the last 5 years, and are happy to support these programs which are introducing and engaging students to the innovative world of advanced manufacturing,” said Hadrian Rori, chief technology officer, LIFT. “With our home base in Detroit, it is important for us to invest in programs and students here in the Great Lakes State.”

Currently ongoing, the Advanced Metalworks Research Project is designed to discover and develop low-cost, open-sourced 3D metal printing using common welding machines on a 3-axis control system. A student team is working on creating four large Duplex-style mega blocks, roughly the size of a smart phone, which can snap together.

“The industry needs greater resolution when using welding machines,” said Russ Stein, MTU research engineer and lead program manager. “Additive manufacturing – or 3D printing – isn’t a new technology, but we are working on making it more effective, accessible and affordable.” More information on the MTU Enterprise Program can be found at

The Materials Science Summer Youth Program runs from June through July and will include a series of weeklong camps designed to introduce students of varying demographics to the excitement and career possibilities of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The four camps include: Middle school students, high school students, Engineering Scholars Program for high school students and Women In Engineering for high school students.

Courses taught at the camps include: Safety, metal casting, blacksmithing, composites, dilatometer, dipping dots, SEM, creep testing, ice cream solidification, semiconductor devices, slime and silly putty, tensile testing, sugar solution, and nitinol shape memory.

“Students choose what they want to get involved in – the most popular courses are foundry and blacksmithing,” Stein said. “We introduce these kids to engineering and its many applications in ways that are both exciting and fun. It is amazing how many students ultimately decide to enter the field of technology based on their experiences here.”



More information on the MTU Materials Science Summer Youth Program can be found here:

LIFT, operated by the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight material manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA, and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research.
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Joe Steele