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DOE office focusing on atomically precise manufacturing

David Forrest ScD, PE, FASM
Technology Manager, Advanced Manufacturing Office,
U.S. Department of Energy

Longtime Foresight member David Forrest has been involved with nanotechnology development since his student days at MIT with Foresight co-founders Eric Drexler and Christine Peterson, and since October 2012 he has been Technology Manager, Advanced Manufacturing Office, U.S. Department of Energy. At Foresight Institute’s Breakthrough Technologies for Energy workshop this past spring, Dr. Forrest spoke about “Progress in Atomically Precise Manufacturing at the Advanced Manufacturing Office”. The strategic goals of this effort include developing a suite of manufacturing technologies capable of building a broad range of macroscopic atomically precise products, and transitioning these to commercial practice to transform the U.S. manufacturing base to APM-centric production. The motivation from the standpoint of DOE is to reduce energy use. Current efforts began with a DOE workshop held August 5-6, 2015 in Berkeley, CA “Workshop on Integrated Nanosystems for Atomically Precise Manufacturing“. The six plenary presentations that can be downloaded from the workshop web page comprise arguably the best overview of progress toward APM since Foresight Institute and Battelle unveiled a Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems in 2007. When complete, the workshop report is expected to be available from this page.

To inform the public of the importance of APM, a recent “Nano Nuggets” You Tube video features Dr. Forrest explaining how nanotechnology—specifically atomically precise manufacturing—will impact manufacturing. For example, making membranes with every atom positioned to make molecularly perfect pores to filter clean water from salt water using far less energy.

To focus on the importance of APM for advanced materials for industry, Dr. Forrest visited Austria this past November “AMO’s David Forrest Attends Prestigious George C. Marshall Visit to Austria Program“.

Each year since 2007, the Austrian government has brought industry and technology experts from the United States together through the George C. Marshall Visit to Austria Program. The program is designed to connect U.S. change makers together and to highlight Austrian innovations and build a collaborative relationship between the two countries.

This year, Dr. David Forrest, Technology Manager in the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), received an invitation to join this prestigious delegation focused on advanced materials. Dr. Forrest has more than 30 years of award-winning work across industry, academia, and government. At AMO, his work centers around atomically precise manufacturing, high performance materials, and advanced material processes. Other delegates came from American universities and AMO partners such as Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Manufacturing Program.

This November, Dr. Forrest joined eight advanced materials experts from the U.S. in Austria for dialogue with top Austrian universities and companies doing work in advanced materials and processes. The first day of the event, Dr. Forrest joined a panel discussion on “The Role of Advanced Materials in the Industry” which brought together other Marshall delegates along with experts from Austrian universities. …

The profile and scope of the activities of DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office seem to be increasing. See tomorrow’s post for news of a new funding opportunity from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), on behalf of the Advanced Manufacturing Office.
—James Lewis, PhD

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