Manufacturing

White House invests $500M in Advanced Manufacturing Partnership

By Eileen De Guire / June 29, 2011

President Barack Obama announces Advanced Manufacturing Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University. Credit: Pete Souza; Official White House Photo. Last week President Obama unveiled a new initiative to invest in emerging technologies and create new manufacturing jobs and increase the nation’s global competitiveness. During a visit to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., Obama introduced the…

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R&D 100 Awards recognize materials innovations

By Eileen De Guire / June 23, 2011

  SRNL microsphere filled with palladium where the top of the microballoon has been removed to view the inside. Source: The Bulletin, Vol. 87, No. 6, p. 26 The R&D 100 awards for 2011 have been released, and the list of winners includes a strong representation from the field of materials science. There were more entries this…

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DOE webinar: How top 5 hydrogen economy states did it

By Eileen De Guire / June 21, 2011

I DOE webinar, June 21 For two consecutive years, Fuel Cells 2000 has named California, Connecticut, New York, Ohio and South Carolina to its list of top five fuel cell states (see last week’s post about the just-released 2010 “State of the states” report (pdf)). DOE is sponsoring a lunch-time webinar tomorrow on how local…

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Gaining the competitive edge: economic outlook and the ceramic industry

By Eileen De Guire / June 20, 2011

From CLS 2010: Rodney Lanthorne (Kyocera) , Joel Moskowitz (Ceradyne) and David Morse (Corning) jointly spoke on the topic, “Emerging Business and Technology Opportunities and Challenges for the Ceramics Community.” Similarly, representatives of small, medium and large enterprises will be featured in the CLS 2011 program. Last week we reported that the employment outlook for…

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Solar silicon manufacturing innovators get big boosts with new DOE loan guarantees

By / June 20, 2011

Calisolar silicon is purified in a unique, liquid-phase process producing solar silicon without the high energy and specialized equipment of conventional vapor-phase silicon purification. Credit: Calisolar. As I have written several times before, the costs tied to the processing and manufacturing of photovoltaic units are dropping, but they are still the main impediment to PV…

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Report released on state-by-state fuel cell activities

By Eileen De Guire / June 17, 2011

Praxair hydrogen fueling station at LAX. Credit: Fuel Cells 2000. Fuel Cells 2000 has just released its latest report, “State of the States: Fuel Cells in America,” (pdf) which is available free from their website. The 106-page report was assembled by the Washington-based nonprofit organization from public records, websites and communication with state and industry…

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Rare-earths chess game intensifies with new moves in China, Washington

By / June 16, 2011

Maybe not a zugzwang yet, but rare-earth strategies are getting more complex and riskier. Credit: Wikipedia. It’s been a while since I have addressed strategic materials, but several recent developments are worth noting. Let’s start by going back a few months. In late March, a ripple went out among rare-earth supply watchers when China’s Ministry…

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Solid job growth expected for engineers

By Eileen De Guire / June 15, 2011

Relative job growth trends for engineers from Indeed.com. The Indeed.com search engine searches openings at thousands of job sites. Credit: Indeed.com The Society for Automotive Engineers just released a survey-based study on anticipated employment trends for engineers in the 2011-2016 timeframe. The study focused on the so-called mobility industries: automotives, aerospace and commercial vehicles (e.g.,…

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Making photovoltaic solar cells that last

By Eileen De Guire / June 1, 2011

Solar concentration mirror for PV energy generation. Credit: Replex Plastics. Yesterday, the DOE announced $27 million in new funding for projects aimed at reducing the non-hardware costs of solar energy – things like streamlining zoning, building codes, regulations, etc. and the IT systems that will support them. It’s part of meeting the Obama administration’s SunShot…

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GE expands on thin-film solar, becomes near-term grid parity believer

By / June 1, 2011

CdTe array. Credit: NREL. For the first time that I am aware of, it General Electric seems to have jumped on the Sach’s Law bandwagon and decided that solar power very soon will be competitive with fossil fuel and nuclear energy sources. In a recent interview with Bloomberg News, GE’s global research director, Mark M.…

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