The IACMI Scale-Up Research Facility (SURF) recently hosted Michigan State University (MSU) Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Teresa K. Woodruff. Woodruff joined MSU as provost in August 2020. In May, the provost was able to tour the Corktown facility located in the heart of automotive R&D in Detroit.
“MSU continues to be an engine for economic development in Michigan, and the IACMI is leading the way in advanced composite manufacturing,” said MSU Provost Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. “The leaders of the institute, the facility itself, and the opportunities for our MSU engineering students create a synergy that is driving many fields, including the important automotive industry in Detroit and elsewhere.”
“SURF is the only public-private collaboration facility of its kind in the United States when you consider the breadth and scale of the equipment for research, development, and demonstration of full-scale composite structures,” said Ray Boeman, Director of IACMI SURF and Vehicle Technology at MSU. Boeman led Woodruff through the 50,000-square-foot facility as she learned how SURF provides full-scale capabilities to augment MSU’s comprehensive composites R&D capabilities within the Composite Materials and Structures Center (CMSC) and Composite Vehicle Research Center (CVRC) at the main campus in East Lansing. MSU Associate Dean of Engineering Research John Verboncoeur shared how SURF fits into the mission of the College of Engineering and supports the university’s land grant mission.
Joining Boeman to support the provost visit was IACMI CEO John Hopkins and IACMI members and partners Patrick Blanchard with Ford Motor Company and Elvira Stresikova with BASF. Boeman showcased both the extensive capabilities and the advanced equipment at SURF, including the Fill Multilayer tape lay-up machine, the Milacron 3,000-ton injection molding machine, Litlzler Prepreg laine and the Schuler 4,000-ton compression molding machine.
Elvira Stesikova describes BASF’s 3D printing initiatives at the SURF.
Throughout the tour, Boeman and Hopkins explained how SURF and IACMI are engaging with students to build the workforce for the future to meet industry needs. Boeman reiterated that this tour was a wonderful opportunity to highlight the potential of the SURF as a core asset of the university in the city of Detroit for industrial R&D collaborations, as well as workforce development and training for MSU students as well as the community at large.