Senator Shaheen and NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan Visit UNH

Senator Shaheen and Director Sethuraman Panchanathan

On Friday, May 12, 2023, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Director Sethuraman Panchanathan visited UNH’s John Olson Advanced Manufacturing Center as part of a larger visit to the Durham campus. As an R1 research institute, a large portion of the university’s research is done through NSF grants. 

As a part of the tour, the Senator and the Director met with Jim Brown and Michael Gleason from GreenSource, a New Hampshire based manufacturer of high-quality printed circuit boards and one of the Olson Center’s key strategic partners. Drop-Slice, a non-abrasive, vacuum based waterjet start-up spun out of the Olson Center, also contributed to the tour. Collaborative projects with Madco3D (energy-efficient housing and the printing of coral reefs) were also discussed with the Senator and the Director.

Brad Kinsey, the Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Science, spoke about NH BioMade, which researches the design and manufacturing of biomaterials. This program also supports NH’s biomaterials industry through partnerships and workforce development. Much of the UNH research for NH BioMade was done at the Olson Center.

Diane Foster, Director for the School of Marine Sciences and Ocean Engineering, and professors Ruth Varner, Julie Bryce, and Jessica Ernakovich, along with several other team members, also presented on UNH’s Arctic Research and CARPE (Convergent Arctic Research Perspectives and Education). Supported by NSF, CAPRE prepares graduate students for academic and non-academic careers that address challenges caused by the Arctics changing climate.

Before the visit continued to other UNH centers, several graduate students from NH BioMade and CARPE were able to discuss their research with Director Panchanathan and Senator Shaheen. The visit highlighted UNH and the Olson Center’s far-reaching impact on NH’s economy through NSF’s investment in programs like NH BioMade and CARPE.

Written by Katie Ahearn

Photo by Jeremy Gasowski

Helping to bridge the skills and technology gap in the nation’s $2.3 trillion manufacturing industry, the Olson Center assists local, regional, national, and international companies with navigating the continually evolving advanced manufacturing landscape; helping them remain competitive in today’s global environment.   The Olson Center serves as the hub through which manufacturers can: develop connections up and down the supply chain; seek assistance solving today’s complex product, materials, and manufacturing problems; engage with world-renowned researchers and engineers; fulfill workforce and educational development needs; and examine/deploy the latest technologies, processes, automation, and manufacturing techniques.