With Airforce, Army and Navy bases and academies, the State of Maryland is a key hub for US military might. Now Aberdeen, Maryland, is going to also become the hub for a major additive manufacturing (3D printing) initiative, leading to higher speed in parts production, new weapon system design and materials, dramatic cuts in costs and delivery times, and point-of-need part manufacturing.
Dubbed AMMP (Advanced Manufacturing, Materials, and Processes), the new program “brings together industry, academia, and government to advance, refine, and transition scientific breakthroughs in materials and machinery,” according to Lisa Strama, President and CEO of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS). NCMS is launching the program in conjunction with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), top U.S. manufacturers, and several leading universities.
Strama addressed a group of about 150 government, academic, and manufacturing industry members and area dignitaries, along with ARL Director Dr. Philip Perconti, U.S. Senator Christopher Van Hollen (D-MD), Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, Steve Pennington from the Maryland Department of Commerce, Maryland Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti, and Chuck Hull, the recognized “father of 3D Printing.”
Touting the group’s shared vision to revolutionize defense logistics and strengthen the global competitiveness of the nation’s maker base through next-generation manufacturing prowess, Strama stated, “Today is an opportunity to recognize the unanimous pledge of support AMMP is receiving for the scientific breakthroughs, accelerated manufacturing capabilities, stronger and more competitive industrial base, and economic growth it stimulates. I also want to extend my thanks to Senator Van Hollen for his role in securing $15 million in new AMMP funding support.”
Strama added that Aberdeen’s selection aligns with NCMS’ belief that innovation happens best at the intersection of talent, infrastructure, and investment. Several other details about the AMMP Program emerged during the event, including an overview of the NCMS working model, the formation of an AMMP Technology Advisory Board (TAB), and the appointment of Dr. Cosima Boswell-Koller as Senior Project Manager and technical lead.
Strama and Boswell-Koller are spearheading the TAB, saying its mission is to provide integrated executive direction and business-centered guidance in keeping with the overarching goals of RDECOM/ARL. TAB leadership will be determined by nominations received from AMMP member organizations, with subcommittees planned for the near future.
Boswell-Koller holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and following a Thermodynamics and Quantum Chemistry teaching assignment at Ohio University, joined the Corrosion and Wear Branch at NAVAIR in nearby Patuxent River, MD, holding leadership roles both in Acquisition, through support of the V-22 Osprey, and Science & Technology.
“The AMMP Program is enjoying a lot of early momentum,” said Boswell-Koller. “There are several new project calls, awards, and kick-offs well underway, and our membership base is growing rapidly.” A total of eight additive manufacturing projects have been awarded to date in keeping with the ARL’s essential science and technology, feedstock, and prototyping areas of focus.
In addition to additive manufacturing, NCMS has long-standing success working with world-class companies of all sizes to advance innovative technologies in several more strategically critical areas, including digital manufacturing, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cybersecurity, automation, robotics, maintenance, sustainment, and quality.