Texas Tech University

Whitacre College of Engineering Debuts Renovated CB&I Advanced Prototyping and Manufacturing Facility

George Watson

January 30, 2017

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The renovations were made possible by a $1.6 million gift from CB&I, a leading energy industry technology and infrastructure provider.

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The Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Tech University debuted on Monday (Jan. 30) its new CB&I Advanced Prototyping and Manufacturing Facility, which will give students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering the most advanced technology and facility to enhance their education and experience.

The CB&I facility will allow students the opportunity to develop the tactile and functional understanding of mechanical and theoretical principles that will prepare them to be career-ready engineers. They will have access to some of the most advanced equipment available, giving them a hands-on educational and research experience.

Renovation of the facility was made possible through a $1.6 million philanthropic grant from CB&I, one of the top energy infrastructure companies in the U.S. The aim is to further the goal of Texas Tech and the college to become a globally elite university.

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"We, the faculty and students alike, are truly grateful for this partnership with CB&I that resulted in this world-class prototyping and advance manufacturing facility," said Whitacre College of Engineering dean Al Sacco, Jr. "It gives our students both fundamental and real-world experience in technologies that will play a role in many of their careers in the years ahead. I personally am very grateful to Larry McVay and the entire CB&I management team for their support in helping us educate the best engineers in the world."

The 8,400-square-foot facility will house both traditional and new digital rapid manufacturing equipment that will provide students the experience needed to handle new and innovative technologies upon graduation. These technologies incorporate the rapid transfer of science and technology into manufacturing.

The facility will focus on the three-dimensional (3-D) printing of metals, plastics and other materials, with a stainless steel 3-D printer serving as the centerpiece of the facility, making Texas Tech one of only a few academic institutions with the capabilities of this type of printer.

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Students also will gain experience in rapid digital data generation through the use of scanners and other similar devices as well as digitally controlled material removal equipment such as lathes and mills.

"I want to commend Texas Tech's leaders, faculty and students who are working with us to foster innovation and shape the future of our industry," said Philip K. Asherman, CB&I's president and chief executive officer. "This strategic partnership will help CB&I apply innovative ideas and emerging technologies to solve some of the industry's most complex challenges."

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