The Manufacturing Moment: AMMTO Newsletter, January 2024

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The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Office logoDivider

January 16, 2024

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Welcome to the Manufacturing Moment, a monthly dose of advanced manufacturing updates hot off the factory floor. Estimated read time: 5 minutes.

A Note from AMMTO’s Director:

The Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office (AMMTO) is starting 2024 with a resolution to build on the momentum of last year's achievements. AMMTO has much to celebrate as we reflect on the successes of 2023 and we’re grateful to our vast advanced manufacturing community for contributing to those successes. We need you in our corner as we strive to achieve a clean energy future for all Americans.

AMMTO’s first year as an office was productive, to say the least: We invested in five ground-breaking funding opportunities, launched four innovative prize competitions, and renewed three Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institutes and the Critical Materials Innovation Hub. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – I encourage you to read more about these accomplishments in our 2023 Year in Review!

2024 has plenty more in store. AMMTO will be launching a multitude of strategies and roadmaps to guide us closer to the clean energy future. We look forward to unveiling these plans in the upcoming months but for now, we encourage you to read on to learn what we’ve been up to.

See you back here next month,

Chris Saldaña

Reach out to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technologies Office at with any manufacturing musings.

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Upcoming Events

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AMMTO Releases “Transitioning to a Sustainable, Circular Economy for Plastics Workshop” Report with DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office

Our office, in partnership with the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and The Climate Pledge coalition, recently released a report detailing a 2023 DOE workshop centered on Transitioning to a Sustainable, Circular Economy for Plastics. Held last June in Seattle, the event convened stakeholders to address the current challenges and opportunities in transitioning to a sustainable, circular economy for plastics in the United States. Key focuses included policy harmonization, innovative recycling technologies, and expanding plastic feedstock quality. The workshop advances DOE's Strategy for Plastics Innovation, emphasizing energy-efficient plastic reuse and recycling. Access the full report for detailed insights.

ICYMI: What do Microelectronics Have to do with Emissions Reductions?

DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Buildings and Industry, Dr. Carolyn Snyder, recently penned a blog post that highlights the success and momentum of AMMTO’s Energy Efficiency Scaling for Two Decades (EES2) program to reduce emissions in the semiconductor industry. Now in its second year, EES2 aims to increase semiconductor energy efficiency by 1000-fold in the next 20 years. Garnering support from over 60 signatories across industry and academia, this initiative is pivotal for sustainable technology. Discover more and learn how to contribute by clicking through for additional information.

Just Released: Manufacturing USA’s Education and Workforce Development Roadmap

The United States has committed unprecedented investments to expanding the U.S. manufacturing sector. While promising, this success cannot be achieved without first addressing key barriers to the growth of American manufacturing, such as maintaining a robust and diverse manufacturing workforce across the nation. The Manufacturing USA network has crafted a national education and workforce development roadmap to help the sector respond to existing workforce challenges and maximize the U.S. manufacturing resurgence. Learn more and download the full roadmap here.

Scaling the U.S. Solar Manufacturing Workforce

In April of last year, DOE's Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) requested recommendations for how to effectively scale America’s solar manufacturing workforce, focusing on photovoltaic production. Feedback from 31 stakeholders revealed challenges in filling diverse roles due to misconceptions about job attractiveness and skill shortages, especially in rural areas. Key needs identified include enhanced training, increased awareness of solar job opportunities, and better workforce diversity strategies. SETO will use this feedback to inform future programming and industry support strategies. These insights are vital to AMMTO’s manufacturing workforce strategies and supporting domestic manufacturing that is critical to achieving a clean, decarbonized economy.

Using Supercomputers to Help Companies Advance Clean Energy Technologies

AMMTO’s High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) program, managed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has given Argonne National Laboratory the opportunity to form new industry partnerships to leverage its supercomputing resources and expertise. Partners for these projects include Ford Motor Company, which is focusing on speeding up solid-electrolyte interphase (SEI) formation, Capstone Green Energy, which is focusing on redesigning microturbine systems to run on hydrogen fuel, Lakril Technologies, which is creating environmentally friendly paints, and Power Systems Manufacturing (PSM), which is focusing on optimizing gas turbines for hydrogen. The range of these ongoing projects at Argonne demonstrate how DOE’s supercomputing resources can support companies of all sizes to manufacture products for the clean energy economy while also reducing carbon emissions.

DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office Launches Innovating Distributed Embedded Energy Prize (InDEEP)

DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) recently announced the launch of its Innovating Distributed Embedded Energy Prize (InDEEP) to develop pioneering technologies that will generate new, precommercial materials for wave energy conversion. This prize will challenge innovators from within and beyond wave energy to design and develop novel materials for marine energy applications that will lay the foundation for generating electricity at the grid scale. 

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Events Calendar

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News Spotlight

DOE’s New ‘Critical Materials Collaborative’ Seeks to Boost Domestic Supplies

DOE recently launched the Critical Materials Collaborative (CMC), an initiative aimed at boosting domestic supply chains for critical materials essential for economic and military strategic advantage. Helena Khazdozian, Senior Technology Manager for AMMTO, shared insights with the Federal News Network on the initiative, discussing challenges posed by the concentration of these materials in countries like China and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Helena described how the CMC aligns various departmental efforts with shared goals, filling a gap between applied R&D and deployment seeking to reduce costs, improve environmental and health impacts, and increase efficiency and circularity of materials.

How to Slash Emissions Across the U.S. Economy

A first-of-its kind agreement struck at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) has nations around the world committing to halving global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. But, the United States, one of the world’s top emitters, is lagging in this goal, according to PBS News Hour. To get the U.S. back on track, experts say it is crucial the country targets its five top-polluting sectors: transitioning electricity generation to renewable sources; electrifying the transportation sector; adopting circular economy principles across industry; enhancing energy efficiency in buildings; and improving soil and livestock management across agriculture. Read more in the PBS News Hour story.

EERE Is Hiring - AMMTO

If you are passionate about improving energy and material efficiency, and American manufacturing competitiveness, consider applying to join us.

We are currently hiring for the following positions:

We’ll be back next month with more manufacturing moments. Until then, you can forward this newsletter to a friend and don’t forget to tell them to subscribe here!