LSU Participates in Fed. Program to Address Manufacturing Challenges

July 1, 2019

Several men standing for group photoBATON ROUGE, LA – A four–person team of LSU Mechanical Engineering students and staff recently finished atop the third of three pilot challenges sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment Program intended to bolster the nation’s manufacturing workforce.

The event, held in Lafayette, La., followed similar competitions held in Alabama and Mississippi in which teams from LSU, Auburn University, Mississippi State University and Meridian Community College competed in challenges focused on welding and machining. LSU was the only team at each of the three events to complete all aspects of the challenge.

These challenge events marked the first in an ongoing series of trade skills competitions by the IBAS program designed to attract and grow manufacturing talent. It’s all part of a larger initiative titled, “Project MFG-Next Generation Manufacturing Challenge.”

“I’ve talked to a number of industry members and they felt that students are not prepared to meet their work requirements,” said Andrew Mallow, executive director of LSU’s National Center for Advanced Manufacturing. “They are very vocal with our community colleges and universities that we need to improve student training and opportunities. LSU is exploring opportunities to add 5-axis [machining] capabilities at our university, increase student opportunities for hands-on learning of manufacturing technologies, and look at collaborative opportunities to work with community colleges to share their knowledge.”

Project MFG brings together educational institutions, non-governmental organizations, industry, NASA, and DoD to address critical issues like:

  • A gap in workforce skills, resulting in numerous deficiencies within the industrial base.
  • The effort to strengthen the DoD and NASA’s ties to the academic community and workforce through investment in skills challenges that promote shop floor skills in advanced manufacturing engineering and trade skills education, leading to a strong talent pipeline.
  • Promoting workforce development and skills in several regions, while also aiming to ensure the technical workforce has access to the latest knowledge and training opportunities.


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Contact: Joshua Duplechain

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