Thursday, February 26, 2009

Center of Excellence in Industrial Metrology and 3D Imaging is up and running

what is metrology?

metrology = metron (measure) + logos (study of)

metrology is the study of how we measure things.

For example, say I wanted to measure the mass of water in a bathtub.

If I knew the volume of the tub by measuring its dimensions, since I know the density of liquid water, I could calculate the mass.

Or, if I had a small bucket and a scale, I could measure the cumulative weight of every bucket removed, and since I know the gravitational constant, could calculate the mass.

Of, if I opened the drain, and I measured the flow rate, plus I measured the amount of time to drain the tub, I can calculate the mass too.

In each case, the ability to measure things makes my task possible.

But I can only measure things if I have the right tools.

- - -

At M*7 Technologies located in Youngstown, they use scanning equipment to measure a given space or object. After they scan something, it requires an awful amount of data storage, depending on the level of tolerance (measuring something on an inch scale and a micron scale makes a big difference).

With a partnership between M*7 Technologies (a Youngstown Business Incubator portfolio company), Zethus Software (another company residing in the Youngstown Business Incubator who works on distributed computing), the YBI itself, Youngstown State, the Ohio Supercomputer Center, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST (these guys maintain the U.S. atomic clock, among others) - the Center of Excellence in Industrial Metrology and 3D Imaging was born.

And so Friday, a $1.6 million check was given to this Center of Excellence. It will be the official national test bed for three-dimensional imaging metrology.

from an article in the Business-Journal:
"The new center will be led by Allen Hunter, professor of Chemistry at YSU, and a team from the university’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, College.

Hunter said earmarks such as the $1.6 million procured through Ryan’s office are vital to changing the role of the university and furthering new research and development projects. He credits the congressman for understanding the importance of local universities and the impact they can have on economic development.

“Federal dollars supporting research and development have increased ten times” compared to what they were a decade ago, Hunter noted.

Martin Abraham, dean of the STEM College, said a primary reason why the university is able to land funding for these important projects is because YSU has found a way to share ideas and information with various departments in science and technology, and establish partnerships with local businesses.

“A few years ago, this would never have happened,” Abraham said. But combining the science, technology, mathematics, and engineering departments into a single college under the direction of one dean enables the university to draw from a variety of intellectual resources.

The Metrology Center is an outstanding example of what collective action can accomplish, Abraham said. “As manufacturing becomes increasingly more complex, it is ever more important that we can measure parts and design tools accurate to the nanometer scale,” he said. “Now, with everyone working together, we’ll be looking for ways to work with companies such as M7 and Zethus.”

He also noted the college is examining the potential of starting Ph.D programs in material sciences and engineering."
- - -

good work, Team Youngstown.

three Centers of Excellence down, hopefully 17 more to go.

No comments: