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October 31, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Chad Duty named new CEO of IACMI – The Composites Institute

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

Chad Duty, a long-time leader in the advanced manufacturing sector on a national basis, has been selected as the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Knoxville-headquartered Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation, better known as IACMI – The Composites Institute.

Currently a Professor of Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) and joint faculty member at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Duty will transition into the role between now and April 1, 2023. In the interim, Dale Borsius, IACMI’s Chief Commercialization Officer, will continue to lead the daily operations as well as serving in his former roles of Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of the IACMI Consortium.

Before joining UTK’s Tickle College of Engineering in 2015, Duty served as a Research Scientist and Group Leader at ORNL, beginning in 2004. During his ORNL tenure, he helped establish the well-respected Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.

Chad Duty. Photo by Steven Bridges/University of Tennessee

In April 2021, Duty was named as the Associate Director for Industrial Relations for UTK’s Center for Materials Processing, a program focused on fostering and promoting teaching and research related to materials processing with the objective of providing technology that can be the starting point for new product development or provide solutions to problems related to the performance of materials improving industrial competitiveness.

“His strong background in advanced manufacturing research, technical management, strategic planning, industrial collaborations, navigating complex organizations, and working with a variety of stakeholders and funding agencies makes him well positioned as CEO,” said Maha Krishnamurthy, Interim President of the UT Research Foundation, and Tom Drye, Liaison between the Board of Directors of the UTRF affiliate that oversees IACMI and the IACMI Consortium Council.

The now more than seven-year old IACMI program was announced in January 2015 (see article here) when then President Barrack Obama and then Vice President Joe Biden came to an event at Pellissippi State Community College. At the time, IACMI was a $259 million public-private partnership seeded by $70 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and $189 million from state and industry partners. More important, it was one of five regionally organized programs focused on key aspects of advanced manufacturing: vehicles (Michigan), wind turbines (Colorado), compressed gas storage (Ohio), design, modeling, and simulation (Indiana), and composite materials and processing technology (Tennessee supported by Kentucky).

The number of programs like IACMI that were seeded by federal funds under the Manufacturing USA Initiative grew to the current 16. IACMI was funded for its first five years by DOE before restructuring while continuing to be a focal point of R&D for the composites industry.

In addition to UT and ORNL, IACMI’s founding partners included Colorado (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), Indiana (Purdue University), Michigan (Michigan State University), Ohio (University of Dayton Research Institute), and Kentucky (University of Kentucky).

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