Aug. 20, 2014

While 26-year-old wounded veteran Joseph Grabianowski has inspired Americans with his harrowing war story, someday he may be nationally known for building highly efficient exhaust systems for cars and trucks using 3D printing technology.

In July Grabianowski joined the Advanced Manufacturing Internship program, a pilot effort offered by the Energy Department's (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office, Renewable Energy (EERE), ORAU, Pellissippi State Community College and ORNL. The program is designed to provide accelerated, hands-on career training for veterans and next-generation engineers to prepare them to immediately enter the workforce of the growing advanced manufacturing industry.

Grabianowski stepped on an IED while deployed with his Army unit in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in May 2012. Damage from the blast required a rare, radical amputation of his lower body. He had long dreamed of being a U.S. Marshal but knew his path would now lead in a new direction. In a December 2013 interview with USA Today, Grabianowski said, "I still love my country…even though I can't go be a marshal now, I can still go do something that would be a good service to my country."

Barely two years later, his successful recovery is a testament to his personal will and determination. This self-proclaimed techie now envisions a career for himself in what he calls the "future of manufacturing," which is additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing.

Through this pioneering program Grabianowski received the training needed to make his career goals a reality and prepare him to succeed in the additive manufacturing world.

The six-week program, which began in early July, includes a combination of three weeks of classes at Pellissippi, two weeks of hands-on training at the ORNL Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF), and one week of carbon fiber composites training at the Science & Technology Park on ORNL's main campus. Participants learn to design for advanced manufacturing needs and are educated on 3D printers, fabrication techniques, and materials including titanium, carbon fiber, ABS plastics and other composites.

"The science behind additive manufacturing is fascinating, but it really comes down to the feeling of how great it would be to help people," said Grabianowski. "I see a future in this industry, and I can serve my country by learning the technology and software to build 3D-printed exhaust systems for cars and trucks that will save Americans millions in fuel costs someday."

According to Robert Ivester, Ph.D., deputy director in the Energy Department's Advanced Manufacturing Office, this program is the first step in building a better system for providing veterans with timely training opportunities that will give them a competitive advantage when returning to the workforce.

This first program ended with a job fair at ORAU's Pollard Technology Conference Center in Oak Ridge on August 14. More than a dozen recruiters from advanced manufacturing companies were on hand to talk to any of those interns who were ready to move into the workforce. Of the 25 students who have participated in this six-week internship, a number already have job offers, leads on potential jobs, and opportunities to continue their education. And then a graduation ceremony held at Pellissippi State Community College on August 15.

"The response to the program was more than we had hoped," said Dean Evasius, senior vice president of ORAU's workforce development programs. "Within a few days of opening the program, we had applications from all over the United States."

A diverse group was selected for the pilot program, including 15 Army, Navy or Marine veterans, three active duty personnel, two reservists, three FIRST Robotics students, and two undergraduate engineering students. "The job fair that ORAU is hosting will assist those participants who are ready to enter the advanced manufacturing workforce," said Evasius.

To help expand the capacity for this new training in advanced manufacturing, DOE also plans to provide 3-D printers to the community college. The new program will begin later this month. DOE begins accepting applications for the second class of advanced manufacturing interns now and you can find more information about this program here.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Deborah K. Alexander wrote at 2/6/2017 5:29:32 PM:

This is excellent! I attended the 3DVeterans inaugural class on Additive Manufacturing in August 2016 in San Antonio, TX, and I know this is what I want to do as a career. I've been looking for a next step! Let's hope this is it!



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