The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET) arrived on campus Thursday, December 5, 2013 for the NASA Roadshow. NASA and MAGNET combined forces to help four Northeast Ohio companies brainstorm their projects and advance local industry.
“[This] is a good opportunity to get some outside help,” said Mark Fetchel of Delta Systems.
This meeting was the first of its kind for Youngstown State University and it puts YSU in a unique position to help make the connection from large organizations to local industry. There were many companies in the area that applied to have NASA and MAGNET help. The companies were chosen based off of what NASA could help with. The four companies were AT&F, a custom steel fabricator; Delta Systems, an electronics manufacturer; Visualized Energy, an energy management consulting firm; and Catacel, a materials manufacturer.
“I’m thrilled!” said Dr. Marv Schwartz, from Visualized Energy. “We have very powerful data, but we are having a hard time having people act on it.” Dr. Schwartz is hoping that NASA can come up with a clever way of presenting the data, that way his team of associates can translate the data into products.
Two years ago, there was a push for NASA to be more involved with the community, which has lead to events like the roadshow today. In 1984, MAGNET was founded to provide consulting to companies to help them with finding the bottom-line and improve sales by helping them develop new products.
“It is an important step in the journey that [NASA] is on,” said Dr. Joe Shaw of NASA Glenn. He continued to say that NASA cannot accomplish these types of community engagement activities by themselves and that they need the help of their partners. “I am very proud of the partnership we have with Youngstown State University.”
Throughout the morning, each of the four companies spent time with representatives from NASA brainstorming their individual products. After lunch, everyone gathered for the guest speaker, Antonio Riley from the Department of Housing and Development. Much of Mr. Riley’s speech centered on what this opportunity could do for our communities.
There was excitement from all the companies about this opportunity. “We were jubilant,” said a representative for AT&F, which just celebrated its 75th anniversary this year. Another representative for the company said, “We were intrigued with what Youngstown State University could do for us.”