UCI Combustion Lab to Participate in New Consortium

Vince McDonell, UCI Combustion Lab associate directorJuly 20, 2015 - The UC Irvine Combustion Laboratory is part of a new collaboration seeking to improve ties among academia, federal laboratories and industries involved with atomization. The Atomization Technology Innovation Consortium (ATIC), created with a $485,000 planning grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will work to accelerate innovation, technology transfer and implementation of atomization technologies across a broad range of industries.  

Atomization, the process of reducing a material into fine particles or spray, is a technology widely used directly or as part of advanced manufacturing strategies in a range of cross-industry applications, such as fuel injection for transportation, pharmaceuticals, powder metal production, additive manufacturing, coatings, electric power generation and thermal spray technologies. Approximately 19,500 U.S. companies, employing more than 2.2 million people, manufacture or use atomized products, resulting in $1.46 trillion in economic benefits.

UCI’s participation in the consortium is led by Vince McDonell, associate director of the UCI Combustion Laboratory. In addition to McDonell, the ATIC leadership team is made up of members from several professional societies and a Department of Energy Laboratory, including ASM International, Thermal Spray Society, America Makes, AMES Laboratory, Institute for Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems-Americas, and the Metal Powder Industries Federation.

“UCI has a broad range of perspective on these areas,” said McDonell. “As the only university-based representative, we plan on bringing an educational component to the collaboration as well as our research and development expertise.”

The leadership team plans to recruit members from a variety of industries and will produce a timeline and roadmap outlining a direction for national policy. The NIST grant is seed money that funds the consortium for two years; over the long-term it will become self-sustaining.

“This award adds an additional ‘star’ for UCI in the advanced manufacturing universe,” said Scott Samuelsen, professor emeritus and UCI Combustion Laboratory director.  

“Spray technology is a cornerstone in manufacturing,” added Gregory Washington, Samueli School dean.  “We are excited to be part of the ATIC national initiative.”

--Lori Brandt

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