Benefit from the guidance of experienced machine tool professionals.
Machining and Machine Tool Research R&D at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and ACE Train-the-Trainer Instructor
“I think it’s really important to see ACE spread to other places, a full range of high school to undergrads to graduate students. Getting kids excited from a younger age, understanding that manufacturing is a viable career they can do is key.”
Emma has been involved with ACE from its development stages and now focuses on train-the-trainer instruction, where she shows educators how to teach the ACE curriculum. She’s excited to see the program expand to so many states in such a short time.
Lab Manager at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T) and ACE Instructor
“When industry finds out what we’re doing, they will be coming to us. ACE is a good way to integrate with industry and to get connected with people.”
Phill was one of the first to be certified to teach the ACE curriculum beyond the initial testbed in Tennessee. He looks forward to seeing the impact it will have in his North Carolina community, from high school students to industry professionals.
University of Tennessee, Knoxville, CAM Instructor
“ACE is good for networking and seeing what careers are out there. It’s really cool to see how manufacturing is blowing up in the Knoxville area. From the 8 years I’ve been here, it’s night and day.”
Jake calls himself a tinkerer, a real hands-on engineer. As the director of UTK’s Maker Lab, he helps develop prototypes. An eye on entrepreneurship and a focus on hybrid manufacturing, he says his dream would be establishing a startup in Knoxville that offers manufacturing solutions.
Greene Technology Center, Teacher
“ACE parallels perfectly with what we’re already doing in our machine tool technology program, but this bootcamp takes it to the next level. I think the kids will really like that it’s hands-on because I certainly have.”
Elliott has been a teacher for 18 years at a facility that teaches high school electives during the day and serves as a TCAT facility at night. He is looking forward to folding ACE into his curriculum that should appeal to a wide range of ages. He likes showing students how to apply math in real-world jobs.
James Gibbons “Mr. Gib”
Polk State College Machinist
“Skilled labor isn’t cheap. Cheap labor isn’t skilled.”
In his 40+ year career as a machinist and fabricator, “Mr. Gib” has worked on multi-story buildings and very large steel structures, miles of handrails, thousands of CNC and manual machined parts, race cars, hot-rods, bikes, and guitars.
Assistant Professor of Mechatronics at Roane State Community College and ACE Instructor
“Once you’re successful at creating something, you gain confidence. Once you have confidence, sky’s the limit. That’s what I think ACE will do.”
Tom completed the ACE train-the-trainer course in July 2022 but has been in machining (both as a machinist and as a teacher) for many years. He’s looking forward to bringing the ACE curriculum to Roane State Community College students.
Atlantic Track and Southwest Community College
“I’m looking forward to sharing this training because so many people have no idea that this type of work exists. They also don’t understand how much work goes into most things they buy.”
As an employee at Atlantic Track, Vidal sees the main benefit of ACE to be: “Jobs! it’ll open up so much.” He will be the lead instructor at both his company, which provides manufacturing services for transit systems including railroads, and at Southwest Community College in Memphis, Tenn.
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, Instructor
“I’ve enjoyed the whole project from start to finish. Getting to make something you can take home, feeling like you completed something by the end of the week, it was great. ”
Thomas is excited to extend the Robert C. Byrd Institute’s (RCBI) ACE training into Kentucky. He will be working directly with local businesses, many of which are tool and die manufacturers, to ensure Elizabethtown Community College is teaching the specific skills industry needs.
ACE Instructor for Train-the-Trainers and Guidance for all ACE training centers
“I’m trying to give them real-world experience in a college setting. I don’t want to just give them a block and say, cut this. I want them to know the programming behind it.”
Jose has taught the ACE curriculum to a wide range of participants, including students in high school, two-year programs, and universities as well as current machinists. He aims to give a broad introduction to machining and machine tool dynamics so that participants can find where they best fit in U.S. manufacturing.
University of Florida Professor
“I want to completely revitalize the design and manufacturing curriculum we have for mechanical engineering at UF. I want to bridge to other departments so that anyone can do this.”
Formerly a student of ACE curriculum’s developer Dr. Tony Schmitz, Sean is thrilled to expand ACE into Florida. He feels ACE sets a new standard for how we educate mechanical engineering students and machinists, and he likes how it highlights multiple career paths.
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), Shop Lead
“I think ACE is a very accessible program. It doesn’t cost anything. You don’t need prior experience. Anyone who CAN do it, SHOULD do it.”
Nathan runs a machine shop for the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). Here they work towards increasing manufacturing resilience in America and fixing supply chain issues. Nathan feels ACE is a great introductory overview of CNC and does a good job of breaking down the barriers to machining.
Indian River State College, Welder and Machinist
“When they can see something they built from nothing, that can be dramatic for them. Seeing a tangible part in use and knowing its function draws people in. ”
Walt is a welding instructor who’s ramping up the CNC program IRSC. An hour south of Cape Canaveral, their area of Florida has a lot of contractors for the aeronautics industry. Walt hopes ACE will draw more people to manufacturing because people who like machining are makers at heart.
Tennessee College of Applied Technology Knoxville, Instructor
“I’m drawn to machining because I love creating. Between subtractive and additive manufacturing, I truly feel there’s nothing I can’t create.”
John was in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and has been drawn to machining since he was young. He’s now teaching to give back to an industry that he says has given him so much. As a self-proclaimed patriot, John sees ACE as a tool to bring American manufacturing back to the top.
Dr. Tony Schmitz
Mechanical Engineering Professor at University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT) and Developer of ACE Curriculum
“I want nothing less than eliminating the shortfall in the manufacturing workforce that exists today. U.S. manufacturing is ready for a new renaissance.”
Early in the pandemic, Dr. Schmitz was reimagining how to teach some of his engineering classes and developed what is now the online and in-person ACE curriculum for metal CNC machining. He continues to lead in-person training at UT for both participants and trainers planning to replicate ACE across the country.
Hector Siller Carillo
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of North Texas
“The most important thing is to cultivate curiosity in students. They’ll be more interested in learning practical stuff. ACE makes this fun.”
Since the fall of 2022, Hector has been instrumental in spreading the ACE curriculum in North Texas. By both embedding it into his engineering classes at UNT and leading weekend bootcamps for machinists who want to gain new skills, Hector is connected with local industry and focused on meeting their workforce needs.
Machinist Instructor at the Marshall Advanced Manufacturing Center and ACE Instructor
“We’re a nation of purchasers instead of producers. Manufacturing needs to be a big part of our economy. That will make us more self-sustainable, keeping the money in our country, creating more jobs.”
Rick has been a machinist for 40 years, and 35 of those have been on CNCs. He likes how the CAM programming has become more intuitive and hopes programs like ACE can bridge the gap between designers and machinists. He helped lead the first ACE bootcamps outside the state of Tennessee.
Alamance Community College, Instructor
“To reshore manufacturing, we must be competitive. CNC machines bring the price down by helping create the output of parts at a reasonable price.”
Most of Jesse’s prior training has been on manual machines, but ACE has given him the chance to work on CNC machines, which he says he’s really enjoyed. Machining parts on CNC can make local shops faster and more efficient. Jesse looks forward to bringing more people into the workforce through ACE.
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