Dr. Robert Gao, Cady Staley Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, received a new NSF grant entitled “SCC-IRG Track 2: A Manufacturing-Driven Approach to Advancing Community in Northeast Ohio”

The project, sponsored by NSF’s Smart and Connected Community Program and funded at $1.5M for the period of 10/1/2021 – 9/30/2024, will conduct collaborative, use-inspired research, education, workforce training, and policy recommendations on community behavior and organizational development. 

Using Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as the communication platform, the project aims to transform Small-to-Midsized-Manufacturers (SMMs) in the Northeast Ohio region into “smart” and connected enterprises through real-time operation monitoring and asset tracking, assisted by process-embedded sensing, edge- and cloud-computing, artificial intelligence (AI)-enhanced data analytics, customized learning, etc. Research on transfer learning will facilitate knowledge translation across different machine equipment both within an SMM and to other SMMs across the organizations to promote the creation of a collaborative SMM network that assists each other to better cope with the supply chain dynamics.

The research team consists of three faculty members from CSE (Robert Gao, PI, EMAE; Ken Loparo and Pan Li, Co-PI, ECSE) and two faculty from the Weatherhead School of Management (Kalle Lyytinen and Susan Helper, Co-PI). Collaborators include local manufacturing companies, community developers, and faculty at Cleveland State University and Lorain County Community College.