DMDII invites students to “Factory of the Future” to celebrate Manufacturing Day

Friday, October 16, 2015
Guest blog post by Haley Stevens, associate director of Workforce Development and Education Outreach, Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII).
The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII), a UI LABS Collaboration, opened its doors to more than 50 Chicago Public High School students and their teachers to celebrate national Manufacturing Day on Oct. 2, 2015.
According to Dr. Dean Bartles, chief manufacturing officer of UI LABS and executive director of DMDII, “Our Institute shares the mission of Manufacturing Day to expose young women and men to advanced manufacturing opportunities, particularly those that related to digital manufacturing.” Digital Manufacturing is defined by the ability to connect different parts of the manufacturing life-cycle through data, and to use that information to make smarter, more efficient business decisions.
Education outreach is a critical pillar to the work of DMDII, one of the Institutes that was funded by the Department of Defense through the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), an effort supported by the U.S Department of Commerce’s Advanced Manufacturing Program Office.
For this year’s Manufacturing Day, two local high schools — Bowen High School and Prosser Career Academy — visited our facility. The students’ schedule of events included a formal presentation and a Q&A session with DMDII leadership, a guided tour of our seven manufacturing cells of our factory of the future, hands on activities and career games. Representatives from Daley College, which provides a two-year associates degree in advanced manufacturing, hosted an interactive session for students highlighting post-secondary opportunities.
World Business Chicago was also a critical sponsor of our event through its 1,000 Jobs program, an initiative that seeks to raise awareness for manufacturing careers and place job seekers in advanced manufacturing positions. Often students and their parents are the first set of stakeholders to engage in the conversation on the viability of this career path.
DMDII intends to continue collaborating with educational partners by bringing students into our facility on a regular basis through our Digital Days program, with the goal to provide experiential learning on digital manufacturing.
DMDII is UI LABS’ first Lab. DMDII is revitalizing American manufacturing, by helping U.S. manufacturers to harness data to make their products better, faster and more cost competitive. Learn more at and