More than 100 researchers from many countries will share ideas on manufacturing techniques for newly developed miniature devices for a variety of industry sectors at the third International Conference On MicroManufacturing (ICOMM'08), Sept. 9-11 at Carnegie Mellon University.
Burak O. Ozdoganlar, ICOMM'08 chair and organizer and an associate professor in mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon, said the conference is a result of increasing industry demand for miniature devices, such as minimally invasive surgery equipment for the medical field and micro robots now used in many aerospace projects.
What conference attendees are doing is developing manufacturing and measurement methods to bridge the nano and human scales, and therefore transforming micro- and nano-technology from the laboratory to practice. This conference will concentrate on techniques of fabricating three-dimensional and micro systems using different processes, which are revolutionizing the applicability of micro-scale systems in different fields, according to Ozdoganlar.
Industry analysts report that the medical and biomedical sectors are driving the need for increased use of MicroManufacturing as demand spiked more than 60 percent last year for implantable medical devices.
The booming market for tiny implantable medical devices that can track congestive heart failure or heart valve disease is increasing along with an aging U.S. population. In 2000, 14 percent or 46 million people in the U.S. were 60 years old or older. By 2020, 20 percent of the population or 75 million people will be older than 60.
"The statistics are pushing this industry forward, and we are working to meet the demand by creating miniature devices with complex micro-features from a wide variety of materials," said Ozdoganlar. "The aspect of material capability must be stressed here, since the processes we utilize enable fabricating micro-scale features on virtually any material," Ozdoganlar added.
Ozdoganlar was awarded the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Society of Manufacturing Engineer's Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award in the last few years due to his contributions to the MicroManufacturing field. He also participated in the 2007 National Academy of Engineering's Frontiers of Science program for promising young faculty at leading research universities nationwide.
More than half of the conference attendees are from Asia and Europe. Various national companies including Aerotech, Inc., Kennametal Inc., Microlution, LLC and Performance Micro Tool are conference sponsors.