President names Proenza to key national committee


President Barack Obama has appointed University of Akron President Luis M. Proenza to a national committee charged with identifying and implementing new strategies to strengthen U.S. manufacturing.

Dr. Luis M. Proenza

Dr. Luis M. Proenza

Proenza will serve with 19 other national academic, labor and industry leaders on the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee 2.0 (AMP 2.0), a working group of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) on which Proenza served in 2002 - 2008. Among the universities represented on the committee along with UA are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, the University of California-Berkeley and Georgia Tech. Co-chairs of the committee are MIT President Rafael Reif and Andrew Liveris, president, chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Co.

The committee will build on the progress made by the inaugural Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee. The president initiated the committee in 2011 to enable more U.S. manufacturers to take advantage of emerging technologies.

In addition to the University’s extensive relationships with industry, the appointment acknowledges the University of Akron’s key role in the National Additive Manufacturing Institute, a public-private partnership with members from industry, academia, government, and workforce development in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The institute works to bring “additive manufacturing technology” – commonly known as 3D printing – to more manufacturers.

The competitively-selected institute, based in Youngstown, is the pilot institute for up to 15 National Network for Manufacturing Innovation institutes across the country. Three more manufacturing-innovation institutes will be established this fall.

Strength in engineering and polymer science

UA’s strengths in engineering and polymer science in addition to its documented success in technology transfer and research commercialization have positioned the University to play a major role in the institute and work to revitalize America’s manufacturing industry, Proenza says.

“I’m honored that the President has asked me to serve on this committee along with other distinguished presidents of major universities and companies. We welcome the opportunity to have The University of Akron serve in this nationally important role on strengthening manufacturing and creating new jobs,” said Proenza. “This appointment also further recognizes the Akron Model – our ‘tool chest’ for bolstering the economic vitality of our region. We look forward to sharing our experiences with others in the nation and also to learn from others how we might enhance our work here in Northeast Ohio and thus reap larger rewards both for the University and our region.”

Supporting Proenza with his work on the committee will be Ajay Mahajan, Ph.D., special assistant to the president for innovation and associate dean for research in the College of Engineering, and Wayne Watkins, J.D., associate vice president for research and vice president and secretary of The University of Akron Research Foundation.

“Being selected for this steering committee is a testament to Dr. Proenza’s reputation and the work he has done here at the University and in the region,” said Mahajan. “It shines a spotlight on the University, the city of Akron and Northeast Ohio, and provides us with a forum to make a significant contribution to the future of advanced manufacturing in the nation.”

Media contact: Laura M. Massie, 330-972-6476 or