WPI Launches Center for Advanced Abrasives Processes

Nov. 7 kickoff meeting set for center's research consortium
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WORCESTER, Mass. - Nov. 2, 2006 - Worcester Polytechnic Institute has launched the Center for Advanced Abrasives Processes to promote research aimed at helping companies that engage in precision grinding improve their efficiency and gain access to technological advances. The center is located within the university's Mechanical Engineering Department.

The kickoff meeting for the new research consortium supporting the center will take place on the WPI campus on Tuesday, Nov. 7. The meeting will conclude two days of seminars and tutorials at WPI on surface metrology and grinding (see www.surfacemetrology.org).

The new research consortium is dedicated to helping member firms achieve significant improvements in their grinding processes, improvements that will translate to improved quality and lower costs. It is directed by Christopher Brown, professor of mechanical engineering at WPI, who is known worldwide for his innovative work on characterizing surface roughness. The consortium's advisory board includes three renowned authorities on grinding:

  • Stephen Malkin, distinguished professor and head of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, has also served as director of the Manufacturing Engineering Program and is a co-founder of the Center for Manufacturing Productivity.
  • Robert S. Hahn founded Hahn Engineering in 1980 to develop force-adaptive controls for grinding machines. Earlier, at Heald Machine Company, he invented and developed controlled-force internal grinding machines. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Manufacturing Engineering, and the International Academy for Production Engineering , and is a member of the National Academy Engineering.
  • John A. Webster, president and founder of Cool-Grind Technologies, helped launch the Center for Grinding Research and Development at the University of Connecticut, and, for Saint-Gobain Abrasives, managed the superabrasive research laboratory in the UK and the Grinding Systems Solutions Group in Worcester. He is a fellow of the International Academy for Production Engineering.

"It is rewarding to see WPI's grinding center and this consortium become a reality, especially since domestic manufacturers operate under such competitive conditions," notes Jim Camp, assistant to the president of Service Network Inc. in Worcester, an OEM builder of grinding machines. "This country must preserve high-value-added manufacturing, and this consortium helps do that."

For more information about the new research consortium, visit www.me.wpi.edu/MFE/CAAP/letter.html or contact Jim Camp at Service Network Inc,. 508-754-2739 or jcamp@sni-grinders.com.