Smart Manufacturing Institute On the Move Through Los Angeles Partnership

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announces the partnership moving the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute to WeWork spaces. (photos courtesy Mayor’s Office)

Founded two years ago, the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) was a culmination of political willpower from local, state and federal governments, universities and the private sector — with over $140 million in investments from the partnership.

“Smart Manufacturing is an unprecedented exploitation of data into real-time actions that changes the manufacturing industry with ever advancing data and information technologies not unlike what has happened in other industries like Amazon, TrueCar, etc. and how we buy products; ATM and mobile banking; Uber and Lyft ride share services, Airbnb for room sharing,” said Jim Davis, UCLA Vice Provost of Information Technology and co-founder of the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition that was awarded CESMII. “What does next generation digitalized manufacturing look like?”

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Postcard from Washington, DC: Robotic Hands Research Helps Veronica Santos Feel Out Federal Funding

Professor Veronica Santos, who works with robotic hands, took her work to Washington, D.C. (photos by Veronica Santos)

UCLA Professor Veronica Santos’ research can be explained in any number of ways. She can even reference Homer Simpson, if the occasion calls for it.

During her trip to Washington, D.C. for the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) Day, Santos found her voice talking with staff and members of Congress — taking the theory of her Biomechatronics Lab, and making a pitch for life-saving benefits in the real world. The emphasis of the trip was to advocate for vital National Science Foundation (NSF) funding.

“It’s a good exercise to make you get out of your tunnel vision of what you’re doing in the lab and think at a high level as to what your research is contributing to society,” she said. “You’re trying to sell those advantages to people you hope will champion this for the betterment of society.”

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State Investment Vital for Campus Repairs, Renovations, Replacements

Young Research Library has been identified as a top priority of deferred maintenance work for this year, along with numerous other projects. (photo by Jonathan Van Dyke)

During the Los Angeles winter, it’s not uncommon for UCLA students looking to study at Young Research Library to be left in the wet and cold.

The issue is one of many facing the university, as administrative officials hope that state legislators approve more money for deferred maintenance — i.e. repair, replacement or renovation projects required to keep campus facilities operationally efficient and modernized.

As for Young Research Library, Kelly Schmader, assistant vice chancellor for Facilities Management, said he and his team identified it as one of the most pressing repair projects on campus.

“During rainy weather, the students can’t sit on the west or south side of the stacks because the windows leak like sieves,” he said, noting it’s been that way during the six years he’s held his position at UCLA. “With growing enrollment, our students need adequate places to study.”

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