Our mission is to advance the manufacturing competitiveness of the United States.
Our vision is to improve national security by developing, demonstrating, and deploying advanced manufacturing technologies.
The Ohio State University's Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) works with companies and researchers to translate new technologies into real-world, market-ready manufactured products. These projects give student employees at CDME hands-on experience integrating new technology while providing our customers the workforce advantage necessary to compete in a global marketplace. The center executes this innovative approach to technology translation and workforce development while shaping the national conversation on advanced manufacturing innovation.
From CDME Executive Director Nate Ames:
"CDME uses industry-funded product development projects as a vehicle to provide undergraduate student employees with hands-on, mentor-based experience integrating new technology into market-ready applications. In this model, our partners can leverage all the university's technical assets to drive new technology into their products while simultaneously enhancing their brand among a pool of motivated students that are intimately familiar with the partner's business, products, and processes.
"I think this newly evolved model of integrated product and student development is poised to break down all existing paradigms for experience-based education. I believe we are on the cusp of changing the way undergraduate students are prepared to enter the workforce – on a national scale."
At CDME, we believe we must address technology and workforce needs to accomplish our mission and vision.
Working with CDME
CDME partners with more than 150 companies and has completed over 520 applied engineering projects.
Projects are executed in a 37,600 square-foot ITAR compliant manufacturing facility on The Ohio State University's West Campus. In all, the center houses more than $13 million in industrial-scale equipment and employs two dozen full-time technical staff.
Full-time staff members execute projects while mentoring and advising CDME student employees.
Building a Sustainable Talent Pipeline
At CDME, student employees work in an industrial environment that matches their experience after graduation. They're programming robotic systems, developing medical devices, leveraging 3D printing techniques, and more. You can't fake real – and students employed by CDME are working on real customer projects.
More than 200 undergraduate students have been impacted to date. These student employees represent a diverse selection of academic concentrations. While 70% are enrolled in engineering courses, the remaining 30% chose majors such as marketing, accounting, or data analytics.
From CDME Alum Antonio Montanez ('20)
"A lot of companies want to see your skill set. They want to see the practical experience you have. But it's hard to gain practical experience in school. That's why working at a place like CDME is fantastic."
From CDME Undergraduate Student Assistant Ankitha Krishnamurthy
"I really feel like CDME is invested in my education and career because of the financial support, project experience, and mentorship I will have received by the time I graduate. My work perfectly supplements my engineering and business coursework. I know it will help me going forward in my upper-level classes, internship assignments, capstone project, and especially later on when I enter the workforce."
Planning for the Future
The following represent CDME's strategic goals:
- Be the benchmark for how universities develop and deploy advanced manufacturing technologies
- Provide a sustainable talent pipeline where CDME student employees have a) the confidence to make critical decisions, b) differentiated portfolios of relevant work experiences, and c) access to dynamic career opportunities
- Maintain embedded corporate relationships with industry and government clients to the extend that CDME and client staff function as one team
- Double the technical depth of our advanced manufacturing competencies