How can product designs be integrated better into manufacturing processes? The National Academy of Engineering seeks answers by awarding predoctoral fellowships each year for projects in integrated manufacturing and processing. Twelve fellows were named this year to research their ideas at different U.S. universities. Research in the program, which began in 1993, may cover aspects of unit operations, tooling and equipment, intelligent sensors, and manufacturing systems, as they relate to product design. One 1998 fellow plans to use an innovative tooling design to improve sheet-metal forming in the automotive industry. Another wants to find a simplified approach to composite repair of aircraft by identifying the integration of initial design, strength requirements, and manufacturing challenges. Each award carries a stipend of $20,000 a year, and an institutional allowance of up to $15,000 per year for three years of support. A similar competition is planned for 1999. You can find out more at www.fellowships.nas.edu, by contacting the Fellowship Programs Unit by phone at (202) 334-2872, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kickstarter offers a gazillion ideas for businesses that are seeking start-up funding. The crowdfunding site also features new gadgets from companies struggling to get their product out to customers. We took a look at the gadgets currently featured and found a number of cool ideas that are seeking funding angels.
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