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For the second time since 2022, the Gene Haas Foundation has awarded the Advanced Manufacturing (ADMA) program at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology a $15,000 grant, the function of which is to support student scholarships and competition teams.

The Gene Haas Foundation (GHF) was established in 1999 by Gene Haas, owner and founder of Haas Automation. The foundation’s mission is to seek out and empower the best CNC (computer numerically controlled) machine training programs across the world. Since 1999, the GHF has awarded more than $175 million to high-quality, forward-thinking schools, missions, charities, and nonprofits across North America and beyond. HU is proud to be recognized as such a program for the second time in two years.

What Does the Grant Mean for Advanced Manufacturing Students?

Dr. Richard Pitts Jr., who serves as Program Lead and Associate Professor for the ADMA Program at Harrisburg University, says he’s excited about the regional and industrial impact of this partnership:

“This GHF grant award will make a tremendous impact for HU students in the ADMA program because it rewards them with scholarship funding, which is always helpful when it comes to tuition, fees, books, and more. Students who take CNC-related courses qualify for this scholarship because they are gaining the necessary tools and experience in advanced machining. This, in turn, equips them to go out and perform at a high level in the industry. This skillset is very beneficial and will make a huge impact for the manufacturing community not only in the local region but in Pennsylvania and the nation as well.”

He continued: “Receiving funding a second time from the GHF solidifies and validates our position as a program which delivers a top-notch education in advanced manufacturing. In addition to scholarships, these additional funds will now allow HU students to enter and compete – for the first time – in national robotics competitions such as the NASA Lunabotics Challenge. This is a prestigious competition that HU was selected to participate in for the 2023–2024 academic year.”

Why Is Advanced Manufacturing So Important Right Now?

Advanced manufacturing is making industries cleaner, leaner, and better able to sustainably serve a growing population. Advanced manufacturing is often related to the term “Industry 4.0” or the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” which involves the integration of manufacturing processes with robotics and other digital technologies with a goal of attempting to do more with less, manage finite resources more sustainably, and to create a circular economy with more deliberately defined product life cycles.

Harrisburg University’s Bachelor of Science in Advanced Manufacturing Program includes the integration of technologies such as robotics, additive manufacturing (3D printing), subtractive manufacturing (machining), computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD & CAM), simulation and digital twins, materials testing and finishing, electronics and PLC programming, factory design and control, and augmented and virtual reality (AR & VR) in manufacturing.

Universities like HU have a significant role to play in developing and mainstreaming these processes – especially at a time when both the moral imperatives and business opportunities of sustainable manufacturing are generating more interest than ever.

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