The new AES Building puts MSU Denver on the road toward P3 success
As in a 1940s ‘road movie,’ partnerships carry the day.
May 25, 2017
As the 117,000-square-foot Aerospace and Engineering Sciences building nears completion, key public-private partnerships (P3s) are helping make the facility and its programs integral to the industries it will serve.
Two companies, Hartwig Inc. and York Space Systems, have recently announced partnership agreements with the University. These new partnerships represent a critical element of the University’s focus on education that serves the workforce-development needs of the Denver region and Colorado in the areas of aerospace and advanced manufacturing.
“My belief has always been that when we create public-private partnerships, students can gain theory and practice, and our partners have the opportunity to advance their own companies. At the same time, the local economy greatly benefits from the outcomes of these relationships,” said MSU Denver President Stephen Jordan.
Hartwig Inc. is the largest distributor of programmable (digital) machine tool solutions and inspection equipment in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions. York Space Systems, based in Denver, Colorado, is an innovative aerospace company, specializing in complete space-segment customer solutions and small and medium class spacecraft manufacturing.
Partnering with Hartwig and its extensive network of line card and affiliated companies will allow MSU Denver to create an advanced manufacturing laboratory housing state-of-the-art digital manufacturing equipment, as well as automated inspection equipment.
“The initial monetary value of the Hartwig partnership is around $2 million, currently, when you factor in CNC machines, inspection equipment, software, tooling and consumables that’ll be provided to our program,” said Robert Park, Ph.D., director of the Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute at MSU Denver. “Moreover, tremendous value is added when you consider all the technical expertise that Hartwig and its partner companies will bring to the table,” he added. “For students, that’ll translate to a highly relevant and targeted education experience in the advanced manufacturing area.”
“Providing the future workforce with skills for the next generation of innovative processes, materials and machines is critical to growing the advanced manufacturing industry,” said Brian Toomey, division president for Hartwig’s mountain region.
Come fall 2017, a unique opportunity will exist for students and faculty on the top floor of the new building – the designated P3 enterprise floor. Design and manufacturing companies not only will partner with MSU Denver but also set up operations in the building.
York Space Systems, which is gearing up to build 150 to 200 small satellites a year, is one such company. York will move its headquarters into the AES Building this fall. The facility will house the company’s full engineering and design team, production facility, as well as a Mission Operations Center (MOC) to operate spacecraft on orbit, in real time.
“This truly represents a new dimension with respect to the integration of formal education and work experience directly on campus,” said Park.
“This is a really great partnership,” Dirk Wallinger, York’s CEO and cofounder, told the Denver Post. “It’s fantastic for York to have this great facility, where we can manufacture spacecraft.… And with the MOC, students will get to operate real satellites that are on orbit and see pictures and data and information, and see how data can be used to help society.”
Other companies are poised to partner with MSU Denver in this exciting endeavor, both in terms of the Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute and the P3 enterprise floor, so watch for future news.