The Center for Manufacturing Research (CMR) has added more than $2,000,000 in new equipment, facility renovations, and maintenance expenses in the period from 1999 – 2004 to support manufacturing research, testing, and outreach projects. In addition, the CMR also provides extensive personnel support in the form of R&D engineers, specialized technicians, and laboratory management. Many of these facilities have multiple uses, impacting not only research but educational and industrial support services.
The CMR leverages its annual state appropriation dollars with federal equipment grants and other university resources to provide state-of-the-art equipment for researchers and student use. A classic example is the awarding of a Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation entitled, “Acquisition of Research and Education Equipment for Geometric Design and Manufacturing Integration.” Dr. Kwun-Lon Ting (CMR faculty member) and five other faculty from departments as disperse as Fine Arts, Earth Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, and Civil Engineering developed a proposal that incorporated eleven research and education objectives that required the new equipment. The $304,143 grant, was leveraged with more than $72,000 from Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing & Industrial Technology, the College of Engineering, the Office of Research, and the CMR to provide a unique manufacturing resource within the State of Tennessee.