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Congressman Aaron Schock ’02 announced Friday at a news conference a $2 million federal grant to fund the new “Manufacturing Laboratory for Next Generation Engineers.” He spoke with President Joanne Glasser and Gerry Shaheen '66 MBA '68, chairman of the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance, following Friday’s new conference.
By Erin Wood '09
A $2 million federal grant announced Friday will help Bradley build “next generation engineers.” The grant, announced by Congressman Aaron Schock ’02 at a news conference on campus, will fund a new manufacturing laboratory.
“It will go a great distance in helping Bradley University, which is already a university of world distinction, become even more competitive in the important career of engineering,” Schock said.
The grant is part of the partnership between Bradley and the U.S. Department of Defense. Among the features of the new “Manufacturing Laboratory for Next Generation Engineers” is a 3-D design and rapid prototyping system that will automatically produce a prototype part directly from a design on the computer.
“We plan to make this laboratory a flexible facility that will give our students a great educational experience and provide our industry constituents, such as Caterpillar, a venue for collaboration and applied research projects,” said Dr. Richard Johnson, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology.
Tana Allen Utley ’86, chief technology officer and a vice president at Caterpillar, emphasized the importance of competitive engineering programs.
“The creation of a new, highly collaborative manufacturing laboratory to better prepare engineering students will build on Bradley’s history and further solidify the importance of Bradley as a pipeline for high-quality engineers for Caterpillar and other companies in the future,” she said.
The Department of Defense appropriation for the grant has passed the House and Senate and is in conference committee. If the measure is approved, federal funds for the lab renovation could be available as soon as summer of 2010.
“The state-of-the-art equipment that this grant will allow Bradley to purchase will enhance the global competitiveness, not only of this region — but of the entire United States manufacturing industry,” said Bradley President Joanne Glasser. “’The Manufacturing Laboratory for Next Generation Engineers’ grant will educate engineers and thinkers and innovators at Bradley University for years to come. Just imagine what they’ll do with this cutting-edge equipment.”