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Farnborough Air Show

At Farnborough, Alabama universities play role in aerospace talks

LONDON, England – Team Alabama’s secret weapon at the Farnborough International Airshow is the state’s education community, which has played a strong supporting role in efforts to recruit new aerospace investment and jobs at the industry’s global trade event.

Representatives from the University of Alabama, UAH, and Auburn University participated in rounds of company meetings on Monday and Tuesday, as did Dr. Mark Heinrich, chancellor of the Alabama Community College System, which is deeply involved in workforce development programs.

Their participation signals the need by aerospace companies such as Boeing, Sikorsky and United Technologies for research partnerships, engineering talent and workforce training, according to Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield.

Alabama’s universities already are engaged in many partnerships with aerospace firms. A group from Auburn University’s engineering school attended a Tuesday air show announcement by GE Aviation that it would launch an additive manufacturing operation at its Auburn facility, the first time a jet engine component will be mass produced using 3-D printing technology.

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