August 12, 2021

S.C. Research Authority funds industrial, workforce research at Francis Marion University

S.C. Research Authority funds industrial, workforce research at Francis Marion University

Francis Marion University will be participating in a $3.3 million initiative funded by the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) to spur research projects that address key challenges facing the state’s industrial base.

The SCRA funding is being matched by the academic institutions and industry partners, bringing the total amount of the projects to over $6.7 million.

The SCRA-Academia Collaboration Team program, which connects industry with multi-institutional academic teams to foster engagement and advance technologies that will lead to the creation of South Carolina-based jobs, will facilitate the funding of the projects through the SCRA.

Francis Marion University is the recipient of $305,000 that will fund research aimed at improving workforce readiness and capabilities throughout the state. The three-year grant will see FMU partner with The Citadel, and local industrial leaders such as G.E. Healthcare, Bicycle Corporation of America, IFA Rotorion and others.

Dr. Rahul Renu, the coordinator of FMU’s Mechanical Engineering program and an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, will oversee Francis Marion’s involvement with the program.

Renu says the initiative presents not just a great opportunity for the students of Francis Marion University, but for the entire Pee Dee region as well.

“The project’s goal is to enhance the employability and retention of manufacturing workers by using digital manufacturing technologies. This aligns perfectly with FMU’s mission of bettering the lives of the citizens of the Pee Dee. FMU engineering students will also gain valuable experiences that will poise them well for a career in industry and for graduate school. We are very thankful for the collaboration and funding from SCRA.”

Other institutions partnering through the initiative include Clemson University, Greenville Technical College, Midlands Technical College, the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina and Trident Technical College.

“We are fortunate to have high-quality research and development being conducted at our state’s colleges and universities. Many of the technologies on which they are working today will produce the new companies of tomorrow. It’s an honor for SCRA to support these collaborations,” said Bob Quinn, SCRA executive director.