STEM Spark Energy News: Advanced Manufacturing

STEM Energy 101, activities, videos, competitions, and career ideas. What does Alexander Hamilton have to do with manufacturing? 3-D printing record set at DOE.
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Energy Education News - November 2016 

This Issue: Advanced Manufacturing - Next Issue: Bioenergy

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STEM Spark Energy Education News focuses on the latest energy education resources, competitions, and innovations from the Department of Energy (DOE) and highlight an energy technology each month. SHARE this newsletter or Sign up here to subscribe

Advanced Manufacturing at Department of Energy

Advanced Manufacturing

Manufacturing uses energy to convert a wide range of raw materials, components, and parts into finished goods. The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) partners with industry, small business, universities, and other organizations to identify and invest in new technologies that can save energy, increase global competitiveness, and create domestic manufacturing jobs. 

Guinness World Record for 3-D Printed Object

3D Wind Blade

When Boeing makes big airplanes, it needs special tools that you can’t find in a hardware store. But ordering custom metal tools is expensive and takes months. That’s where 3D-printing comes in. Researchers at Oak Ridge National Lab developed a 3D-printed version of a “trim-and-drill” tool that Boeing uses to build the wings on its passenger aircraft. About the size of an SUV, the tool weighs 1,650 lbs and measures 17.5 feet long, 5.5 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall, making it the world’s largest solid object made with a 3D printer. It took 30 hours to print using carbon fiber and composite plastic materials. Watch this video to learn more.

Steel Innovation for U.S. Manufacturing

Smart Safe

More than 200 years ago, the Industrial Revolution changed the way the world made things. Previously products were made by hand, but innovations in energy and power opened up capabilities to develop technologies that we use today. Manufacturing sectors that are the foundation of our economy were born during the Industrial Revolution and are still alive today such as: chemicals, textiles, and primary metals like steel.These industries use the most energy in manufacturing of any sector. Energy technology innovation is good for both the economy and the world we live in. Read More

Boosting Manufacturing with New Processes

Processing Video

Traditional chemical manufacturing relies on large-scale, energy-intensive processing. The new Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment (RAPID) Institute will use approaches  — like combining multiple, complex processes such as mixing, reaction, and separation into single steps — with the goal of improving energy productivity and efficiency, cutting operating costs, and reducing waste. In the chemical industry alone, these technologies have the potential to save more than $9 billion in process costs annually. Watch this Video to learn more.

Students help Manufacturers Reduce Energy 

IAC Centers

Students on 28 university teams at the US Department of Energy Industrial Assessment Centers (IAC) are leading innovation in manufacturing energy use. The teams of university-based faculty and student engineers provide energy, productivity, and waste assessments to small and medium sized US manufacturers nationwide. After a site visit, IAC teams develop a report with specific details on all cost-saving opportunities, applicable rebates and incentives. The IAC's provide real work experiences to prepare engineering students for energy careers. Read more. See how much energy companies have saved in the US Energy Savings Database 

Energy Talks - Available Online Now

Energy Talks

Energy Talks presentations provide in-depth explanations of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) programs by energy specialists. Each 10-20 minute presentation highlights an aspect of our revolutionary impact on energy innovation. The complexity and breadth of this work is world-renowned and available in video format. Our current recorded talks cover fuel cells, building technologies, bioenergy, and entrepreneurship. DOE Energy Talks recordings are now available online.

Success Stories - Waste to Valuable Chemicals

Waste to Valuable Chemical Membrane

For chemical manufacturers, waste usually equates to a loss – loss of time, money, opportunity, or all of the above. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a byproduct of many manufacturing processes, and also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. If manufacturers can find a way to convert waste CO2 into different valuable chemicals, they can save money and reduce emissions into the environment. Read More about these companies innovative project.

Alexander Hamilton - Manufacturing 225 Years Ago

Alexander Hamilton

On December 5, 1791, the first U.S. Secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, catapulted manufacturing to the forefront of American politics when he addressed Congress on the significance of manufacturing through his Report on the Subject of Manufactures. In his report, Hamilton urged economic freedom by placing a great emphasis on the need to advance the manufacturing sector. Although technologies have drastically evolved in the last 225 years, these words still stand true and continue to be relevant to today’s manufacturing sector. The Advanced Manufacturing Office took to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to find out what people know about this Founding Father and manufacturing. Watch the video above to learn more.

Wind Turbine Blade Mold with 3-D Printing

3D Wind Blade Model

Additive Manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing, has made a valuable tool for reducing waste, decreasing lead time, and offering more flexibility in design. AMO teamed up with the Wind Energy Technologies Office to apply this advanced manufacturing method to transform the way wind turbine blade molds are created. Advancements in 3D printing have made it a valuable tool for reducing waste, decreasing lead time, and offering more flexibility in design. 3D printing systems have also grown in size and capabilities as technology has improved. 3D designers are printing the blades using the Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) machine at the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Read more here.


3-D Printed Hybrid Vehicle and House

3D Printed House

The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) announced successful efforts of the the lab’s Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) demonstration. The nine-month project reached its goal of 3D-printing an alternative fuel vehicle and a paired building structure, both featuring the unique ability to power one another. The results of the project were unveiled at the Office Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) first-ever Industry Day in September 2015, hosted by ORNL, where the natural gas-hybrid vehicle and solar-powered building were constructed. Read more.

Women@Energy - Valri Lightner


Ms. Valri Lightner has 30 years of experience managing technology development for the federal government. Her 22 year career at DOE has provided opportunities to first develop renewable and energy efficiency technologies, then to be involved with the first commercial deployments of those technologies. For the last 3 years she has worked in the Loan Programs Office providing technical management of a $30 billion portfolio including advanced technology vehicle manufacturing, transmission, fossil, nuclear, efficiency and renewable energy projects. When speaking to students about careers in energy, she says, "To keep future opportunities broad, I recommend students major in one of the primary engineering fields – civil, chemical, mechanical or electrical."Click here for Women@Energy profiles.

Energy Challenge

DOE kids

Join the challenge! Have your class or entire school post pictures on your social media channels showcasing energy, manufacturing or STEM at your school using #ENERGYEDU on Twitter or Facebook. You can also email us at We look forward to connecting with you!

Department of Energy Student Contests and Competitions


National Science Bowl February-March 2017
BioenergizeME Infographic Challenge February 3, 2017 Deadline
Earth Day Poster Contest April 1, 2017 Deadline

Higher Education

Collegiate Wind Competition 
Solar Decathlon October 5-17, 2017 in Denver, CO
Race to Zero 
EcoCar Challenge
Cleantech University Prize (Cleantech UP) 

All Ages

Wave Energy Prize

School/School District

Wind for Schools
Better Building Challenge
Solar Communities Challenge 

Classroom Activities

Energy Information Agency Activities

Hydrogen and Electrolysis (4-8)
Series and Parallel Circuits (6-9)
Natural Refrigeration (6-9) 
Glow in the Dark Toys (9-12)


What are Hydofluorohydrocarbons
Energy 101 Videos
Energy Literacy Videos

Online Resources

Energy Literacy Framework
Energy Teach and Learn Resource Library
Girls of Energy Lesson Plans and Resources

Career Resources

Career Maps

Wind Careers
Solar Careers


Minority Educational Institution Student Partnership Program 
Student Volunteer Internship Program 
Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program
Community College Internships
Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships
Visiting Faculty Program
General Counsel Undergraduate Intern Program 
General Counsel Law Student Intern Program 


Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education - ORISE
Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship Deadline 12/30/16
Department of Energy Computer Science Graduate Fellowship Deadline 1/18/17
Bioenergy Technologies Office AAAS Fellowships
NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program
Presidential Management Fellows Program
DOE Scholars Program (recent college graduates)


Nuclear Energy University Program Scholarship


DOE Office of Science Graduate Research 

Entrepreneurship Opportunities

Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program

Department of Energy Calendar

December 1 Midwest Cleantech University Prize  Deadline
December 15  Allegheny Region Cleantech University Prize Deadline
December 30 - Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship Deadline
January 18 - Department of Energy Computer Science Graduate Fellowship Deadline
February 1 - Caltech First Look West Cleantech UP Deadline
February 10 - Rice Business Plan Competition Deadline

More events and webinars at Education Event Calendar

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