January 18, 2017

First-of-its-kind specialization on digital manufacturing; will help keep U.S. factories competitive

CHICAGO – January 18, 2017 – Enrollment has opened for the first three online courses of a 10-course “101” series focused on harnessing data to make American factories more efficient and competitive.

Developed in partnership with the University at Buffalo (UB) under coordination of The Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE) for the Coursera platform, Digital Manufacturing and Design Technology launches on Jan. 30. The massive open online course (MOOC) curriculum includes 40 hours of instruction, assessments, peer interactions and a final project.

Developed for both students and workers, the series will introduce a broad range of digital manufacturing and design technologies, and demonstrate how they can be used throughout a product’s lifecycle.

TCIE designed the curriculum alongside industry partners, including Siemens PLM, SME, the Association for Manufacturing Technology, Moog Inc. and Buffalo Manufacturing Works. Its development was funded with a $380,000 award from the Chicago-based Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, a UI LABS collaboration. (UI stands for university and industry.)

“Workforce development is critical to maintaining American manufacturing competitiveness,” said Caralynn Nowinski Collens, CEO of UI LABS. “It is also important that the collaborative knowledge DMDII gains through university, industry, startup and government collaboration reach as many people as possible.”

The course modules will introduce digital manufacturing and design technologies, which use data to connect and improve each stage of the manufacturing process. For example, one module will explain how to upgrade legacy machines so they capture information about their production and performance. Another module on cyber-physical security will cover how to ensure these internet-connected devices are protected from hacking.

After completing the series, known as a “specialization,” participants will earn a certificate in digital manufacturing and design.

“For decades universities and factories were worlds apart, but the speed of innovation is drawing them closer and closer,” said Liesl Folks, Dean of the UB School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Creating a first-of-its-kind, impactful curriculum on digital manufacturing is an important step in strengthening and retraining our manufacturing employment base.”

The courses will be offered on Coursera, the world’s largest platform for MOOCs. Individual course content, including videos and readings, can be accessed at no cost; the fee to enroll in the series, with access to all assignments and the opportunity to earn a specialization completion certificate, is $49 per month.

To enroll, visit Coursera.org, create an account, and register for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Technology Specialization.

UI LABS brings University + Industry together with startups and government to collaborate on problems too big for any one organization to solve on its own. UI LABS is building a portfolio of applied research and commercialization labs that improve its partners’ competitiveness and financial performance, and transform entire industries. Across its current labs, UI LABS has more than 300 members from industry, government, community organizations, and academic and research institutions. Learn more at www.uilabs.org.

In February 2014, UI LABS announced the formation of its first lab, the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), in partnership with the Department of Defense, to transform American manufacturing through the digitization of the supply chain. DMDII’s goal is to provide U.S. factories with the tools, software and expertise they need to build things more efficiently, less expensively, and more quickly, so they can win more business and bring jobs back to the United States. Learn more at www.dmdii.org.