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UM College of Engineering receives $1 million grant from the Department of Energy

CORAL GABLES, FL (October 31, 2011) The United States Department of Energy has awarded the University of Miami Industrial Assessment Center (MIIAC) a $1 million grant to be distributed over five years. The funding will help train engineering students to assist small and medium size local manufacturers to manage their energy requirements, reduce waste and increase productivity associated with manufacturing processes.

"The center helps local manufacturing companies reduce their energy consumption, thus saving money and making them more competitive and 'Green,'" says Shihab Asfour, associate dean of the University of Miami College of Engineering, director of MIIAC and principal investigator of the project.

MIIAC utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and resources to conduct industrial assessments and for the dissemination of information from the center. A strong multidisciplinary group of students from the College of Engineering, led by a committed management team of faculty, perform these assessments.

"Our program advances knowledge in the area of energy conservation and management and develops a workforce of energy conscious engineers," Asfour says.

MIIAC is one of 24 centers recently funded by the United States Department of Energy. The program has received funding the previous 11 years, during which time it performed more than 210 assessments and helped a wide range of firms including companies engaged in: metal fabrication, electronic manufacturing, chemical products, wood products, plastics, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, biotech, and the mining industry.

Other objectives of MIIAC are:

  • To place engineering graduates in energy-related careers, as well as in other engineering careers.
  • To provide engineering students with an educational experience and an extensive hands-on training in energy assessment practices, waste reduction, and productivity management.
  • To generate advanced degree topics and academic research related to energy efficiency that incorporate energy efficiency practices.

MIIAC will conduct 20 energy assessments per year. The Manufacturing Extension Program of Puerto Rico's (PRIMEX) has committed to recruit seven manufacturing companies that qualify for industrial manufacturing assessments, each of the five years that MIIAC is funded. MIIAC and PRIMEX will be conducting these seven energy assessments jointly. The remaining 13 assessments will be conducted in the South Florida area.


Contact: Catharine Skipp
University of Miami

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