SVC Receives Grant

Posted October 1, 2016 at 5:35 am by

Skag­it Val­ley Col­lege receives Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion grant for com­pos­ites recy­cling edu­ca­tion and training

Skagit Valley CollegeSkag­it Val­ley Col­lege (SVC) has been award­ed a $194,076 grant by the Nation­al Sci­ence Foun­da­tion (NSF) to devel­op tech­ni­cian train­ing under the Com­pos­ite Tech­ni­cian Edu­ca­tion Pro­gram (CRTEP). Through the grant, SVC will team up with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alaba­ma at Birm­ing­ham (UAB), Penin­su­la Col­lege, and The Nation­al Resource Cen­ter for Mate­ri­als Tech­nol­o­gy Edu­ca­tion at Edmonds Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege to cre­ate cur­ricu­lum for com­pos­ite tech­ni­cians work­ing with com­pos­ite waste stream material.

With com­pos­ites indus­try experts, the part­ners will devel­op pro­to­cols and process­es for the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and prop­er han­dling of recap­tured fiber­glass and car­bon fiber com­pos­ite mate­r­i­al; devel­op cur­ricu­lum mod­ules to edu­cate tech­ni­cians; and devel­op a tem­plate for a data­base learn­ing tool to iden­ti­fy and track waste stream and scrap mate­r­i­al. Project results will be dis­sem­i­nat­ed nation­al­ly and inter­na­tion­al­ly through a vari­ety of orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing Advanced Tech­ni­cal Edu­ca­tion (ATE), an NSF orga­ni­za­tion that works with two-year col­leges to pro­mote sci­ence and engi­neer­ing, the com­mu­ni­ty and tech­ni­cal col­lege sys­tem, the four-year uni­ver­si­ty sys­tem, open source for­mats, and pro­fes­sion­al and stan­dards-based orga­ni­za­tions. Inter­na­tion­al­ly, com­pa­nies are seek­ing the meth­ods and means to reduce waste and waste man­age­ment costs, as high­light­ed by the Euro­pean Union ini­tia­tive Zero Waste Com­mu­ni­ties. The CRTEP project will show impor­tant link­ages between com­pos­ites recy­cling, envi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits, and eco­nom­ic advantages.

Skag­it Val­ley Col­lege main­tains strong con­nec­tions with com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers and key part­ner­ships with busi­ness, edu­ca­tion, and indus­try. “As one of our strate­gic pri­or­i­ties, our Col­lege aligns work­force edu­ca­tion pro­grams with region­al and state eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment strate­gies, advanc­ing the State’s econ­o­my through edu­ca­tion,” said SVC Pres­i­dent Dr. Tom Keegan.
“The NSF grant will help us respond to employ­er needs for sus­tain­abil­i­ty best prac­tices in the com­pos­ites industry.”

CRTEP is built on a foun­da­tion of work con­duct­ed by the Cen­ter of Excel­lence for Marine Man­u­fac­tur­ing & Tech­nol­o­gy at Skag­it Val­ley Col­lege and Penin­su­la Col­lege, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with The Uni­ver­si­ty of Alaba­ma at Birm­ing­ham. Togeth­er, the part­ners devel­oped a two-year pilot to intro­duce the con­cept of com­pos­ites recy­cling for com­pos­ite tech­nol­o­gy stu­dents at the com­mu­ni­ty col­lege level.

“The NSF grant focused com­pos­ite recy­cling is very time­ly and aligns with the goals of the Insti­tute for Advanced Com­pos­ites Man­u­fac­tur­ing Inno­va­tion (IACMI) — The Com­pos­ites Insti­tute. The cross-cut­ting part­ner­ships between the Com­pos­ites Recy­cling Tech­ni­cian Edu­ca­tion Pro­gram and the IACMI net­work offers unique oppor­tu­ni­ties for work force devel­op­ment, expe­ri­en­tial learn­ing and impact­ful indus­try projects,” said Dr. Uday Vaidya, Chief Tech­nol­o­gy Offi­cer, IACMI.

Tech­ni­cian train­ing and indus­try prac­tices have not yet kept pace with sus­tain­abil­i­ty ini­tia­tives rec­om­mend­ing reduced land­fill use. The CRTEP project will advance knowl­edge across mul­ti­ple fields and indus­tries, and pro­vide tech­ni­cians with the foun­da­tion­al knowl­edge, skills, and abil­i­ties need­ed to han­dle com­pos­ite waste stream mate­ri­als, treat­ing them as a new resource. The project will cre­ate a plat­form to devel­op pro­to­cols and best man­age­ment process­es with indus­try while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly cre­at­ing cur­ricu­lum scal­able to cer­tifi­cate and asso­ciate degree path­ways for stu­dent learn­ers and incum­bent tech­ni­cians. Com­mu­ni­ty col­lege stu­dents, grad­u­ate stu­dents, uni­ver­si­ty and com­mu­ni­ty col­lege fac­ul­ty, and indus­try part­ners will work along­side one anoth­er in an edu­ca­tion­al envi­ron­ment to define the func­tions nec­es­sary for tech­ni­cians to prop­er­ly work with com­pos­ite waste stream and scrap mate­r­i­al. The focus is on tech­ni­cian edu­ca­tion in an emerg­ing demand field, and will enhance edu­ca­tion­al infra­struc­ture. Sub­se­quent phas­es of the project will address the recla­ma­tion of obso­lete com­pos­ite parts, such as boat hulls and wind blades.

“This is a proac­tive pro­gram that allows for Tech­ni­cian edu­ca­tion and train­ing to be devel­oped con­cur­rent­ly with research being con­duct­ed for next gen­er­a­tion mate­ri­als. It offers an oppor­tu­ni­ty for inter­ac­tion between stu­dents at UAB and the Com­mu­ni­ty Col­lege part­ners and will help with a bet­ter under­stand­ing for both con­stituents with respect to func­tions and respon­si­bil­i­ties on the 
shop floor and also allow for bet­ter artic­u­la­tion. The inter­ac­tion between the fac­ul­ty, stu­dents and com­pos­ites indus­try part­ners enable this pro­gram to be devel­oped at the cut­ting edge of research and tech­nol­o­gy edu­ca­tion in envi­ron­men­tal respon­si­bil­i­ty and sus­tain­able mate­ri­als,” Dr. Bri­an Pil­lay, UAB, and Co-Prin­ci­pal Inves­ti­ga­tor on the grant.

A num­ber of com­pa­nies and orga­ni­za­tions have for­mal­ly sup­port­ed the project and include: Jan­ic­ki Indus­tries, Fiber­glass Sup­ply, the North­west Work­force Coun­cil, The Boe­ing Com­pa­ny, Hex­cel Cor­po­ra­tion, Poly­strand, the Com­pos­ites Recy­cling Tech­nol­o­gy Cen­ter, the Amer­i­can Com­pos­ites Man­u­fac­tur­ers Asso­ci­a­tion, and the Insti­tute for Advanced Com­pos­ites Man­u­fac­tur­ing Inno­va­tion. Sup­port will include sub­ject mat­ter exper­tise, par­tic­i­pa­tion on an advi­so­ry com­mit­tee and cur­ricu­lum review.

For more infor­ma­tion about the com­pos­ites recy­cling project, con­tact Ann Avary, Prin­ci­pal Inves­ti­ga­tor and Direc­tor of the North­west Cen­ter of Excel­lence for Marine Man­u­fac­tur­ing and Tech­nol­o­gy at Skag­it Val­ley Col­lege, or (360) 766‑6282, x3001.

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Categories: Education

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