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University-Industry Partnership for Automation
CATS Research
Industrially relevant research in advanced manufacturing, automation and control...

From the Director

To be competitive in the global stage, companies need to push the boundary of performance and capabilities. The Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with thirty-two affiliated faculty across nine departments and eight staff members, provides its industrial partners with a broad range of integrated research expertise, from modeling and simulation to optimization and control, to achieve the competitive advantage. We also pride ourselves as a key portal into Rensselaer for industry that seeks partnership in problem solving, product development, process improvement, joint proposals, and training. The CATS connects companies' needs with right faculty and staff, facilitates contract negotiation, and provides linkage to other companies and partners for teaming opportunities.
In program year 2010, in addition to numerous continuing projects, we have started several new initiatives. CATS faculty Jennifer Ryan is leading an incipient collaboration with GlobalFoundries in the area of scheduling and optimization. The CATS, jointly with our sister center, Center for Future Energy Systems (CFES), is working with Ultralife Copr. on developing advanced energy storage systems with the support of The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The CATS has partnered with several small companies, including Ceralink, InfoSciTex, InterScience, and Barron Associates, on winning multiple SBIR and STTR awards. The CATS has also forged multi-organization teams to pursue larger DOD and DOE funding. Within Rensselaer, the CATS is teaming with the newly founded Emerging Venture Ecosystem (EVE) program and the Severino Center for Technology Entrepreneurship to provide technical assistance and mentorship to student start-up companies. As part of our continuing outreach activities, the CATS conducted another successful annual technology showcase on May 10, 2010, with 38 participating companies and over 180 in attendance. Leveraging the New York State's annual investment of nearly $1M, the CATS has been delivering results for companies across the entire state for over two decades. In program year 2010, the CATS' economic impact totaled $52M in revenue and 35 new and retained jobs.
Our fuel cell manufacturing program, under the leadership of CATS Program Director for Industrial Automation, Ray Puffer, in partnership with BASF Fuel Cell, PMD, and Sono-Tek, and with additional research funding from NSF, DOE, and NYSERDA, continues to be recognized as the leading research program in this field. The CATS is the only university research organization invited to the Navy-sponsored Fuel Cell Manufacturing Manhattan Project together with leading industrial players to formulate the fuel cell manufacturing roadmap to meet Navy's needs. Alas, with the program in outstanding shape, Ray has decided that it is time to pass the baton. Ray will retire this June after serving 24 years as the anchor of our industrial automation and manufacturing program. His dedication and leadership is exemplary to us all. We will have a celebration of Ray's accomplishment in the afternoon of May 24 – mark your calendar for this event! We welcome the newly named CATS Associate Director of Manufacturing, Daniel Walczyk, faculty in Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering (MANE), and CATS Research Scientist, Steve Rock, will together assume the leadership role in CATS industrial automation and manufacturing research programs.
We also welcome new faculty addition to Rensselaer and the CATS: Sandipan Mishra, Johnson Samuel, and Riccardo Bevilaqua, all in MANE. They significantly enhance CATS capability in mechatronics, control, micro- and nano-scale engineering, and manufacturing. Congratulations also to the CATS affiliated faculty David Corr, Jeff Ban, and Dan Lewis for winning NSF CAREER Awards.
I would like to thank the NYSTAR for its guidance and support, our outstanding and dedicated faculty, staff, and students for their enthusiasm and contribution, and our industrial, educational, and outreach partners for their collaboration. We look forward to continuing this wonderful journey together!

John T. Wen
Director, Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS)
Professor, Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering (ECSE), and
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering (MANE)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

Directions to Rensselaer CATS
Center for Automation Technologies and Systems
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
CII 8011, 110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180-3590
(518) 276-8744 (voice) (518) 276-4897 (fax)


Welcome to
Rensselaer CATS! rule
April, 2011. Join us for the 2011 Rensselaer CATS Technology Showcase and Conference to be held from 9:00am to 8:00pm on April 27, 2011 at the Hilton Garden Inn - 235 Hoosick Street, Troy, NY. US Representative Paul D. Tonko will be the featured keynote speaker. Click here for more information and to register for the event.
February, 2011. Congratulations to CATS faculty Daniel Lewis, assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, for winning a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Click here for more details.
January, 2011. Advanced manufacturing expert Daniel Walczyk, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Class of 1991, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, and CATS Associate Director of Manufacturing, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Click here for more details.
January, 2011. Rensselaer CATS, a NYSTAR-designated Center for Advanced Technology, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Daniel Walczyk as its Associate Director of Manufacturing. In this new role, Dan will coordinate manufacturing related research in the CATS, building on the Center's existing strengths in fuel cell and advanced composites manufacturing. Dan will also work with CATS faculty and staff to form interdisciplinary teams to explore new funding opportunities, and strengthen and cultivate relationship with current and potential industrial partners.
October, 2010. CATS Alumnus and BullEx Digital Safety CEO Ryan O'Donnell was featured on NBC's Today Show during the show's observance of National Fire Prevention Week 2010. Mr. O'Donnell offered expert tips on How to Survive a Nighttime House Fire. Click here to watch the segment, and here for more information on BullEx Digital Safety.
September, 2010. CATS Program Director for Industrial Automation, Ray Puffer, and CATS Sr. Research Scientist, Steve Rock — along with two Mechanical Engineering graduate students working in the CATS, Ph.D. student Casey Hoffman and M.S. student Jake Pyzza — have been invited to participate in a Manufacturing Fuel Cell Manhattan Project workshop to be held at Montana Tech October 4-15, 2010. The Manhattan Project is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and is being conducted in cooperation with the American Competitiveness Institute and Montana Tech. The students along with fuel cell subject matter experts from industry, government, and academia have been tasked with identifying existing best manufacturing practices, developing a fuel cell technology roadmap to address manufacturing technology gaps, disseminating data through the B2PCOE (Benchmarking & Best Manufacturing Practices Center of Excellence), providing fuel cell manufacturers with technical and economical requirements for Navy fuel cell technology, and providing guidance for Navy investments. More information about the Manufacturing Fuel Cells Manhattan Project can be found here.
May, 2010. Hot off the press! CATS is featured in the Spring issue of the Rensselaer Alumni Magazine. Click here to read.
May, 2010. The Annual CATS Technology Showcase and Dinner was successfully held on May 10 in Troy Hilton Garden Inn. The program included three technical sessions and a poster session with over 50 posters highlighting CATS research. Over 180 registrants participated in the event including representatives from government, industry, other university and non-profit organizations, and Rensselaer faculty, students, and staff.
May, 2010. Congratulations to CATS faculty Art Sanderson for being named a Jefferson Science Fellow by the U.S. Department of State. Click here to read more. rule
May, 2010. Congratulations to CATS Students Ryan Gallagher, Dave Lesperence, and Jake Pyzza: one of the winning groups in the Change the World Challenge for their bio-ethanol fuel cell system. Click here to read more. rule
May, 2010. Congratulations to CATS students Christina Laskowski, Todd Snelsen, and Eric Peterson. Their Sustain-a-PET entry won the second place in the clean energy technology business plan competition. Click here to read more. rule
April, 2010. Congratulations to CATS faculty Leila Parsa, Mark Steiner, Mark Shephard, Michael Jensen, Yoav Peles and John Wen for School of Engineering Award. rule
April, 2010. Congratulations to CATS faculty David Corr and Agung Julius for winning the NSF CAREER Awards. rule
March, 2010. CATS in the news! CATS students and staff developed a new bomb disposal system: Haven (hazardous vessel neutralizer). Read in Troy Record and YNN (including video).

More news here.