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Mechanical Engineering Department to help manufacturers be more productive

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is partnering with Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University to create and run an Industrial Assessment Center that will help manufacturers be more productive, competitive and energy efficient.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded $60 million to 32 higher education institutions scattered among 28 states across the country to set up and operate regional Industrial Assessment Centers. Dr. Solomon Yin and Dr. Jim Lee, faculty members in the Mechanical Engineering Department who submitted the proposal, will establish and manage the UL satellite center.

The center will provide no-cost assessments to small- and medium-sized manufacturers to identify opportunities for more productivity and competitiveness, less waste and more energy savings. It will operate for five years, providing technical assistance to manufactures, training students in performing energy assessments and conducting relevant research.

According to Dr. Yin, the university has a long history of providing assistance to regional manufacturers, including through an IAC that operated from 2001 to 2012. That center, called the LL-IAC, ran 261 industrial assessments consisting of over 2,000 recommendations, and resulting in over $110 million in recommended cost savings. It also trained 63 engineering students, with 22 students being awarded IAC student certificates for exceptional participation. Because of its outstanding performance in industrial assessment and student training, the LL-IAC was awarded the Center of Excellence by DOE in 2008.

Multiple paid positions for graduate and undergraduate students working in the UL satellite center are available. Students who are interested in these opportunities should contact Dr. Yin at