Business Stories

Mecco And Robert Morris University Receive Prestigious Carnegie Science Award

Two prominent area institutions lauded by peers and regional leaders for achievements in exemplary educational and corporate collaboration.

 Each year, Carnegie Science Center recognizes and celebrates innovative and inspiring leaders and organizations in western Pennsylvania who are on the cutting edge of the science and technology industries at the annual Carnegie Science Awards program. On Aug. 4, 2022, Carnegie Science Center officials announced that MECCO and Robert Morris University will receive a Carnegie Science Award in the Exemplary Educational/Corporate Collaboration category for their work in providing numerous internship and research opportunities for students in the laser welding field. MECCO and Robert Morris University, along with other industry leaders, will be celebrated at the inaugural “Geek Out Gala”.

Carnegie Science Award winners are chosen by a committee of peers – both past awardees and industry leaders – who selected the most deserving scientists, educators, business leaders, and innovators whose contributions have led to significant economic or societal benefit of western Pennsylvania. More than 600 innovators have been honored with a Carnegie Science Award over 26 years – it is highly coveted by scientists, researchers, and educators throughout the region.

“The Carnegie Science Awards celebrate and highlight the accomplishments of the creative and forward-thinking minds in Pittsburgh’s science, technology, and education communities and provides opportunities for them to share their stories,” said Jason Brown, Henry Buhl, Jr., Director of Carnegie Science Center. “They are making incredible contributions to their respective fields, and we are honored to recognize these outstanding changemakers at our Geek Out Gala event.”

The partnership between two prominent area institutions started with the need to keep engineering talent in the region. MECCO, a leader in marking and traceability for over 130 years, has brought real-world problem solving and innovation into the classroom, providing numerous opportunities for internship and research, allowing Robert Morris University’s students access to MECCO’s applications lab and helping to expand the capabilities of the Robert Morris University Learning Factory. The collaboration, facilitated by RMU Associate Professor of Engineering Ben Campbell, has resulted in the design and construction of two flexible experimental welding platforms, produced definitive strength data for welds, explored the types of plastics that can be welded, generated thermal models to avoid damage thresholds, produced process optimization methods, and designed a generic test vessel that can be welded to measure shear strength, tensile strength, and verify a hermetic seal. This collaboration has been supported with funds from the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

“As a result of this ongoing research, MECCO has gained tools for demonstrating the welding processes and a deeper understanding of the applications to help customers apply this technology to solve new problems or improve upon existing solutions,” said Dr. Ben Campbell, Associate Professor of Engineering at Robert Morris University who is leading the program research efforts. “The students have expressed deep appreciation for the opportunity to develop many new skills, participate in industry research, and learn to provide solutions for customer driven problems.”

As the Science Center’s signature celebration of innovation and annual fundraiser, the Oct. 13 evening event offers an exciting networking opportunity complete with explosive science demonstrations, savory food and cocktails, and a short awards presentation that will share the inspiring stories behind the awardees’ accomplishments. The evening raises funds to support the Science Center’s mission in advancing inclusive and accessible STEM education to all students.

Through the support of committed sponsors, the Carnegie Science Awards program has honored the accomplishments of more than 600 individuals and organizations.

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