Rep. Hayley Stevens (D-MI) providing opening remarks

On December 6, 2022, April Brown, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University, participated in a congressional briefing hosted by the National Science Foundation (NSF), “Accelerating Advancements in Manufacturing: How NSF Supports Research and Education to Transform Manufacturing Capabilities.” This was NSF’s first in-person Capitol Hill briefing since 2020.

April Brown speaking to the audience

The event included opening remarks from Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI), then chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Research and Technology, and Dr. Susan Margulies, the NSF Assistant Director for Engineering. Following the introduction, four NSF-funded researchers specializing in innovative manufacturing capabilities, including Brown, provided the audience with a brief account of their research and how their federal support has played an instrumental role in that work.

April Brown demonstrating her research with audience members

Following the panel, the audience was encouraged to participate in interactive demonstrations with each NSF-funded researcher, where they could ask questions and even try on industrial exoskeletons. Professor Brown showcased her work investigating how quantum information devices could transform semiconductor manufacturing beyond the traditional silicon-based devices.

The NSF-funded researchers with Dr. Susan Marguiles (center)

NSF plays a critical role in not only supporting fundamental research but also translating that research into real-life capabilities that transform the potential of 3D printing, computer design, the aerospace industry, and much more to solve a wide range of societal problems.