Research Brief

Tandon Team Leads NYC Future Manufacturing Collective


Nikhil Gupta, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering is principal investigator on this project with Kurt Becker professor of applied physics and Vice Dean of Research Innovation, and Entrepreneurship; and Justin Hendrix, executive director of the NYC Media Lab at NYU Tandon.  

Extensive use of sensors, computers and software tools in product design and manufacturing requires traditional manufacturing education to evolve for the new generation of cyber-manufacturing systems. However, with a widening gap between today's education and training curricula and the actual skills required by industry, innovative solutions are needed to prepare the workforce for the evolution of manufacturing.

The New York City Future Manufacturing Collective (NYC-FMC) will develop a network of multidisciplinary researchers, educators, and stakeholders in New York City to explore future cyber manufacturing research through the lens of the worker's relationship to an increasingly complex and technologically driven environment and set of processes. The NYC-FMC will:

  • advance related technologies as well as the underlying systems, processes, and organizational conditions to which these interfaces are connected, to change and drive the roles of people in manufacturing.
  • organize a variety of activities, including an internship program for students to obtain exposure to industrial environments by engaging major manufacturing based corporations, a newsletter to define the state-of-the-art in manufacturing technologies and the new manufacturing ecosystem, and two manufacturing-focused symposia each year.
  • build a coalition of multidisciplinary faculty from NYC universities, industry executives and technologists, investors, entrepreneurs, public sector and other relevant manufacturing ecosystem participants.

The network will rely on faculty leadership at NYU and Columbia University, as well as a broad network of researchers from other NYC institutions, in the areas of manufacturing, computer vision, robotics, machine learning, virtual and augmented reality, human behavior and cognition, economics and other relevant areas. Executives and technologists from industry, including large manufacturing concerns with a connection to the greater NYC region and beyond and startup companies in the Brooklyn Navy Yard's New Lab, will provide stimulus from the private sector and help create conditions to advance education and research goals. This coalition will build a novel education and workforce training program framework to create a learning and feedback loop between researchers, industry partners, and the workforce focused on the future cyber-manufacturing systems.

The project, supported by a $500,000 Future Manufacturing grant from the National Science Foundation.