RIT's Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies (CIMS) is one of 20 winners nationwide of the Jobs & Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a multi-agency federal grant competition to support the advancement of high-growth regional industry clusters. The $1.5M grant funds the Finger Lakes Food Processing Cluster Initiative, a coordinated, cluster-based effort to help the nine-county Finger Lakes region prosper by providing innovative assistance programs, training, and collaborative partnerships to the food processing cluster. CIMS will be assisted by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, Golisano Institute for Sustainability, GIS' Clean Energy Incubator and Venture Creations (RIT's business incubator), as well as several regional partner organizations.
GIS doctoral candidate, Erinn Ryen, has been awarded a coveted three-year Ph.D. research fellowship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Ryen's award will enable her to develop new models in industrial ecology, an area of sustainability studies that designs industrial systems patterned after sustainable, closed-loop natural systems. Her project will adapt metrics currently employed by ecologists to measure biodiversity and resilience in nature and apply them in order to assess economic and environmental impacts of the ever-increasing diversity of materials and products in use today. Ryen's fellowship is funded by the EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program. She is advised by Callie Babbitt, Assistant Professor, GIS.
Dr. Michael Haselkorn, Research Faculty with GIS, assisted by CIMS Mechanical Specialist Domenic Maiola, has served as a consultant to Klein Steel, a world-class distributor and processor of metals with four facilities in Upstate New York, to develop a process for fabricating an innovate protective plating for military and private security use called "Star Armor". Star Armor weighs 30% less than conventional armor, but has the same ballistic properties as the currently used high hard steel, thus reducing end-product weight and volume and enhancing sustainability. Klein Steel has proposed that CIMS continue to work with them during 2012. Star Armor was featured in a recent Democrat & Chronicle article
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released The OECD Sustainable Manufacturing Toolkit, a publication designed to help businesses, particularly supply chain firms and small/medium-sized enterprises, develop a more viable, socially responsible business approach and make the most of green growth opportunities. GIS Director Dr. Nabil Nasr, who serves as Chair of the OECD Advisory Expert Group on Sustainable Production, actively contributed to the development of the Toolkit. The Toolkit provides a set of 18 internationally applicable, common and comparable key performance indicators to measure and improve the environmental performance of manufacturing facilities. The Toolkit is available here
Representatives from the National Architectural Accrediting Board visited GIS in November to evaluate the new Master of Architecture degree program as a first step toward establishing NAAB candidate status for the program. At the end of their three-day site visit, the representatives met with GIS teachers, administrators and students to review their findings. While a formal report detailing their observations and requirements to be met to ensure candidacy will not be issued by NAAB for another month, the representatives expressed satisfaction with the progress of the M.Arch program. GIS anticipates initial NAAB accreditation to be granted by 2015.