Calhoun Community College Hosts Open House for ACAME FacilityOctober 8, 2019
Today, representatives from Calhoun Community College hosted an open house ceremony to celebrate new partnerships in Additive Manufacturing with Auburn University, GE, Huntsville City Schools, NASA and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. In addition, new equipment was highlighted within the facility.
Calhoun Community College is the only higher education institution in the state of Alabama to offer a Design Additive Manufacturing Degree. The Alabama Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence, also known as ACAME, is a division of Auburn University’s National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence (NCAME) center. “From a higher education standpoint, Calhoun Community College continues to be a forefront leader by identifying those key partnerships that will assist in providing the most advanced curriculum in our manufacturing programs,” commented Dr. Joe Burke, Calhoun Interim President. “Our technologies team here at the college are dedicated to ensuring our students are learning to operate the most up-to-date manufacturing equipment,” added Burke.
Calhoun was named among five colleges and universities worldwide to be chosen to receive additive manufacturing equipment from GE in 2018. “This is what truly propelled the formation of the ACAME facility and partnerships,” commented Nina Bullock, Calhoun’s Design Drafting Technology Instructor. “Over a decade ago, Calhoun had the vision to train people in additive manufacturing. What started as a simple addition of a polymer printer has grown to become the State model for additive manufacturing training. When we talk about, “careers of tomorrow,” Calhoun Community College was the first higher education institution in the State to see this technology coming, and to understand there would be a need for a workforce trained in additive manufacturing. Six years ago, Nina Bullock had the foresight to adopt a progressive plan to build one of the best Additive Manufacturing programs in the nation. Today, through the hard work, persistence of Ms. Bullock and her staff, Calhoun Community College continues to be the leader in the field,” commented John Holley, Calhoun’s Dean for Technologies.
Partnerships were formed when Calhoun met with representatives from Auburn, GE, NASA, Huntsville City Schools, UAH and industry partners to revamp and improve the curriculum. To meet the need for additional space, the Additive Manufacturing and Design Drafting labs moved to the Advanced Technology Center providing students with over 4,000 square feet of learning space. “Calhoun Community College has positioned itself within the community to be relied upon as a solid resource for the manufacturing industry here in North Alabama,” commented Senator Arthur Orr, Executive Vice President for Cook’s Pest Control and Calhoun Foundation Board member. “With partnerships such as these, the college will continue to increase the number of skilled workers entering into the workforce, which is a major plus for our area,” added Orr.
Commenting on today’s event, John Vickers, Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA, said, “Additive Manufacturing is a revolutionary technology that is changing the way we work, and community college education is the gateway to attract and grow tomorrow’s additive manufacturing workforce.”
“Calhoun is devoted to our students finding success in the latest fields. Since 2009, the Calhoun Design-Drafting department has aspired to be on the cutting edge of Additive Manufacturing. It is rewarding to see our graduates succeed at work in this field, thereby fulfilling the Calhoun vision of ‘Success for Every Student’,” added Bullock.