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Region to celebrate Manufacturing Day

Guests tour Purdue University Calumet’s Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony last year in Hammond. A panel discussion is planned there for Manufacturing Day. 

Manufacturing Day, an annual nationwide celebration of modern manufacturing that aims to inspire the next generation, takes place Friday.

Given that the Region is one of the most heavily industrialized places on earth, many events are planned locally, but most aren’t open to the general public. Private events include an ArcelorMittal presentation at Merrillville High School, a tour Carmeuse North America is giving high school students of its Buffington Operation in Gary, and an invitation-only Northwest Indiana Forum-sponsored Manufacturing Day summit at Alcoa Howmet in LaPorte.

Purdue University Northwest welcomes the public to a presentation on advanced manufacturing and job training from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at its Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center, 7150 Indianapolis Boulevard in Hammond.

The featured speaker at Purdue will be Hammond Group Inc. President and CEO Terry Murphy, a Purdue graduate and rocket scientist who helped develop the Space Shuttle’s main engine at Boeing Rocketdyne, developed a solar concentration power plant and founded SolarReserve, which now has more than $1.8 billion of renewable energy projects in operation across the globe. Murphy raised $140 million in capital and raised $780 million in federal loans to build one of the plants in Nevada.

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Murphy has since left SolarReserve and now serves as CEO of Hammond Group, where he’s enhancing the use of lead-acid batteries to store green energy, power electric vehicles, and stabilize power grids.

Other panelists include John and Adam Cook of AlliedStrand Corp., and Debbie Blades and Rick Rickerson from Purdue University Northwest, CMEC Associate Director Mont Handley said.

“Each panelist will speak independently and the panel discussion will focus around issues of advanced manufacturing, skills gaps and sustainability,” he said.

The free event takes place in Room 115 and will be live-streamed at http://ustre.am/1xqKN.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.