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RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Transitioning from automation to autonomy in DAF-relevant manufacturing


Materials & Manufacturing, RX/Manufacturing & Industrial Technologies Division

opportunity location
13.25.09.C0850 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337817


name email phone
James Otey Hardin 404.583.6840


How do we best use digital tools (AI, cloud computing, and physical/digital automation) to augment technicians/designers/planners in a world of ever growing complexity in manufacturing?  The Digital Manufacturing Research Team within AFRL applies the mantra of “Teaching tools to be teammates” across a range of DAF-relevant processes including additive manufacturing and robotics.  Areas of interest include capture of human expertise in digital systems, autonomous development of artificial expertise, accessible software for accelerating data-centric manufacturing, and best practices for robust application of AI to manufacturing.  Consequently, we build novel AI models on data collected with in-house automation and seek to make the models part of closed-loops manufacturing systems to “prove” their usefulness.

This work is highly multidisciplinary.  Our team works together on focused, small-scale projects to highlight key challenges in digital manufacturing technology.  We are not the only researchers working on related technologies.  Collaboration with industry, other national labs, and academia is highly encouraged.  Additionally, digital technologies are advancing at a pace where “learning as you go” is expected.

Relevant Reference:

Johnson, M.V., Garanger, K., Hardin, J.O., Berrigan, J.D., Feron, E. and Kalidindi, S.R., 2021. A generalizable artificial intelligence tool for identification and correction of self-supporting structures in additive manufacturing processes. Additive Manufacturing, 46, p.102191.

key words
artificial intelligence; machine learning; automation; control; explainable AI; additive manufacturing; 3D printing


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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