Automotive Research Partnership in Detroit

Raymond G. Boeman

"The SURF is MSU's answer to a longstanding need in the composites community. It's a one-of-a-kind facility that offers companies large and small the opportunity to work with industry-seasoned staff to demonstrate and validate their innovations in full-scale prototypes. We are fortunate to be located in Corktown within eyesight of Ford's future mobility campus."

Raymond G. Boeman
MSU-ORNL Professor of Composites Materials and Manufacturing
Michigan State University/Oak Ridge National Lab
Director, Vehicles Technology Area and Scale-up Research Facility
IACMI—The Composites Institute

With many years of research excellence in the field of composites materials, Michigan State University is a core partner of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), a consortium of experts from industry, academia, national laboratories, and government, working together to accelerate the development of technologies that support a growing advanced composites industry. In turn, IACMI is one of 14 institutes in the Manufacturing USA® network, an initiative focused on coordinating public and private investments in emerging advanced manufacturing technologies.

IACMI's six core partners are strategically located across the Midwest and Colorado. Their Vehicles Technology Area is located in Michigan, where 70% of all U.S. automotive R&D occurs. Under the direction of Ray Boeman, MSU leads the light- and heavy-duty vehicle component of the Institute, focused on research and development that supports industry's need for lightweight structures composed of next-generation composites and multi-material assemblies that will boost fuel efficiency and job creation, while reducing production cost and the carbon footprint.

IACMI's Vehicles Technology Area consists of the Composite Materials and Structures Center (CMSC), the Composites Vehicle Research Center (CVRC), and the unique Scale Up Research Facility (SURF) in the Corktown district of Detroit. MSU manages SURF and shares this formerly-abandoned-warehouse-turned-hi-tech-facility with LIFT (Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow), a sister Manufacturing USA® institute funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies. Funding for SURF has been provided by the U.S. Department of Energy and Michigan Economic Development Corporation, with equipment and personnel support from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and several equipment manufacturers. Major industrial collaboration partners include BASF, Dow, DuPont, Ford, and Volkswagen.

More information

  • Photograph courtesy of University Communications

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