UofM and Auburn Will Collaborate on Additive Manufacturing for Biomedical Devices

July 27, 2015 - The University of Memphis Herff College of Engineering and Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University have agreed to collaborate on additive manufacturing.

The universities have signed an agreement to provide resources to develop improved additive manufacturing processes for the production of biomedical implants.

Researchers and administrators from the Herff College will participate in the forum Additive Manufacturing – The Next Industrial Revolution to be held at Auburn July 30. Dean Richard Sweigard will attend the forum. Dr. Warren Haggard, associate dean for research, will participate in the panel discussion "R&D and Workforce Development for Industrializing Additive Manufacturing." Mark Morrison, principal research scientist with Smith & Nephew in Memphis, will take part in the panel discussion "Additive Manufacturing Applications and Case Studies."

"The Next Industrial Revolution" employs 3D printing technology and presents the opportunity to produce truly personalized medicine in the field of biomedical devices.

"The Herff College of Engineering is pleased to be partnering with the Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University, a leader in manufacturing research," said Sweigard. "Manufacturing of biomedical devices is critical to the economic health of Memphis. We in the Herff College are excited about the opportunity to work with Auburn University to advance the state of the art in additive manufacturing technology in the biomedical field, thus opening the door for more personalized medicine in the future."

Dr. Christopher B. Roberts, dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, said, "We seek out relationships with organizations – such as the University of Memphis – that have innovative programs and capabilities that complement our own efforts. We are excited to have the opportunity to work with the highly regarded faculty and students at the University of Memphis. In the past few years we have seen some amazing breakthroughs in the technologies of additive manufacturing and 3D printing. However, these developments are just the tip of the iceberg of the revolutionary changes coming in advanced manufacturing."

Tommy Carls, vice president of Research and Development for Medtronic Spine and Biologics, said, "Additive manufacturing has been a part of the medical device design process for over a decade. Historically it has been used to create prototypes for engineers and surgeons to better understand and refine a design. Pricing pressures across the industry create opportunity for medical device manufacturers to adopt new ways of creating and manufacturing the innovative devices surgeons and patients have come to expect. A center for advanced manufacturing at the University of Memphis will be a great asset to the local medical device industry as this relatively young manufacturing technology develops."

Contact: Gabrielle Maxey