The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute has named Edward A. Morris as its director, making official its leadership structure after having appointed its executive committee in mid-November.
The news comes more than a month after the institute made the initial announcement at a manufacturing conference in Orlando, Fla., on Nov. 28. NAMII has been operating under interim director Ralph Resnick, who also is president of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining, which was selected by the federal government to lead the institute’s consortium of more than 65 private and public entities.
NAMII’s chief goal is to advance additive manufacturing, which uses three-dimensional imaging software to create a blueprint that specialized machines use to print a product layer by layer, in a process that has the potential to greatly reduce the cost of manufacturing by cutting out labor and material, among other things.
Morris previously had served on NCDMM’s board of directors. His appointment becomes effective in February. NAMII has its headquarters at 236 W. Boardman St., downtown Youngstown, where researchers from across West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania are expected to collaborate and develop more- effective technologies in additive manufacturing that can be employed in mainstream manufacturing techniques.
Among NAMII’s partners are Boeing and Lockheed Martin, both industrial heavyweights and pioneers in the aviation industry.
Morris has 39 years of experience working in the defense, commercial and international aerospace industries.
His position as director of the institute will require that he relinquish his seat on the NCDMM board and step down as director of Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing at Lockheed Martin.
With Morris as director, the institute will attempt to make headway in further advancing additive manufacturing’s applications in the defense industry, a particular interest among government officials who have expressed a strong desire to implement the technology for its cost-cutting and time- efficiency benefits.
The Department of Defense was among many of the consortium’s public-funding sources, devoting nearly 60 percent of its federal financing in 2012.
The manufacturing hub in Youngstown will serve as a pilot project for what the President Barack Obama administration hopes will be the beginning of 15 similar facilities nationwide.
Morris has a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.