Missouri University of Science and Technology will kick off its celebration of Manufacturing Day with a groundbreaking ceremony for the Missouri Protoplex at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 5. When it opens in fall 2025, the Protoplex will anchor S&T’s planned manufacturing and innovation campus. The event is free and open to the public.
There is no parking available at the groundbreaking site. Shuttle transportation will be provided to the Protoplex site north of Interstate 44 at Exit 185. The shuttle will depart from campus lot M19, located near the intersection of N. State St. and N. Bishop Ave., from 8:30-9:15 a.m. Guests with mobility needs should contact Sarah Jones at email@example.com or 573-341-6359.
“We are dedicated to creating a powerful collaborative community that includes our students and researchers, Missouri’s manufacturers, and the innovative equipment manufacturers we’re partnering with,” says Missouri S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani. “Together, we are committed to making sure our students, upon graduation, possess an unparalleled understanding of the technology that will help move Missouri manufacturing companies forward. The equipment and expertise that will be housed in the Protoplex will provide a unique opportunity for manufacturers to learn about new methods and technologies and for students to develop skills that are increasingly critical to their ability to excel.”
Speaking at the ceremony will be Robin R. Wenneker, at-large member of the University of Missouri Board of Curators, University of Missouri President Mun Y. Choi, Dehghani and Kummer Institute Center for Advanced Manufacturing Director Richard Billo, who will oversee the Protoplex.
The Protoplex will serve as a hub for the network of companies S&T is building through partnerships with the Missouri Association of Manufacturers, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and other universities, community colleges and technical schools across the state. In addition to offering an opportunity for manufacturers to learn about new methods and technologies, the full-sized advanced manufacturing machines housed in the Protoplex will enable S&T students to be industry-ready to build Missouri’s innovative products of the future.
Funding for the 116,000-square-foot facility comes from federal and state support as well as private funds from the Kummer Foundation Board of Directors.
Following the groundbreaking and as part of its Manufacturing Day activities, S&T will host a panel discussion on bridging the workforce development gap in manufacturing. From 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Carver-Turner Room of the Havener Center on the S&T campus, representatives from Ozarks Technical Community College, Missouri Enterprise, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, St. Charles Community College, the Missouri Association of Manufacturers) and East Central College will discuss strategies for preparing a workforce ready to excel in an industry increasingly driven by technology. The discussion, which will be moderated by Billo, is free and open to the public.
Immediately following the panel discussion, S&T will offer a tour of the Center for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies, which is housed in Room 101 of the Engineering Management Building.
Manufacturing Day is observed each year in early October to highlight the importance of the industry and to plan strategically for the future.