New Way® Air Bearings Launches New Academic Program to Support Engineering Education at Universities Worldwide
Aston, Pennsylvania, USA, February 20, 2009 – New Way® Air Bearings announced the launch of a new program designed to provide university engineering and science educators with the tools and training they need to teach the benefits of frictionless motion. The initiative consists of three distinct parts: The launch of a separate, self-contained academic website; the global promotion of the company’s long-standing 40% academic discount; and the development of teaching modules that can be easily incorporated into collegiate curricula.
“Air bearings have been around for more than a hundred years,” said New Way president Nick Hackett. “But as engineering and manufacturing requirements call for ever-greater levels of precision – at the micron or nanometer scale – the need for frictionless motion is exploding. We’re now actively engaging universities around the world to provide the educational tools and experience that will best serve their students, and their own research.”
The foundation for this educational outreach is a new web site designed specifically to serve the needs of the academic community: NewWayUniversity.com. This site, which launched on Monday, February 16, will serve as a separate repository for information vital to academic interests.
“We’re just getting started, really,” noted Michael Wright, New Way director of academic outreach. “But ultimately, students and professors who visit the site will have access to a broad array of information, animation, training videos and teaching modules, in addition to the very basic information and the academic discount program they’ll find there now.”
New Way® Air Bearings, the world’s largest independent air bearing manufacturer, has offered an academic discount since its inception in 1994. This initiative represents the first time, however, that the company has broadly promoted the discount, which amounts to 40% off the list price of New Way’s entire standard product catalog.
“The discount is very simple,” said Tim Claffey, New Way vice president of sales. “If you are a student or you are on the faculty of an accredited college or university, you qualify. The reduced margins are our investment in the educational community.”
“All we ask in return is acknowledgement as a contributor on any projects which result. That’s easy enough,” Claffey continued. “And if a project is posted to a web site, we’d appreciate a link. We’ll even provide a reciprocal link to increase on-line presence and accessibility.”
Another first for New Way with the launch of this program was the development of three different sets of ‘packaged’ air bearing components designed especially for a classroom or laboratory environment. These packages make it easier than ever before for educators to select what their students will need for a memorable, hands-on learning experience. Based on the applications most-requested by the academic community, these kits provide the air bearings necessary to teach about frictionless linear motion or frictionless rotary motion. There’s even an air bearing slide package ideal for laboratory shaker applications.
Perhaps the most important thrust of the overall program is the development of teaching modules. New Way is now developing lectures and labs for the engineering and science classroom. The company has enlisted the support of some of the most-renowned experts in the field of precision engineering to craft classroom-ready modules that professors can insert directly and easily into their curriculum.
This initiative starts with Drew Devitt, founder of New Way Air Bearings and the company’s chairman and chief technology officer. As a long-standing member and recent president of the American Society for Precision Engineering (ASPE), few people in the world have as much air bearing knowledge to share as does Devitt.
His years of experience in the field have brought him into contact with the “Deans of Precision,” those who have led the way in the very development of the science. Some are from academia, some are from national laboratories, others are leaders in industry; all have made extensive use of air bearings in the course of their careers; many have agreed to participate in the development of these lectures and laboratory-learning components.
“We’re excited to be developing these teaching modules,” Devitt said. “I’ve wanted to do so for many years. The energy and enthusiasm of the students is contagious, as is their openness to new ideas and methodologies.
“It’s always interesting to see their reaction to porous media air bearings and the benefits of frictionless motion…especially if their only experience is with a conventional contact bearing,” Devitt continued. “When the possibilities of infinite resolution and sub-nanometer repeatability dawn on them, it unleashes a passion for precision. When they understand the speed, stiffness and straightness of motion that are possible, without vibration or wear, without noise, even without lubrication, it opens a whole new future.”
New Way understands that in order to develop relevant teaching modules, the company needs to further its relationships within the academic community. A significant component of its educational initiative is the solicitation of guidance about the kind of teaching modules that will be most valuable and, eventually, feedback about the content and supporting elements themselves.
With this in mind, the NewWayUniversity.com website is interactive, and includes a form where university professors or administrators can offer their guidance, and submit their primary interests for modules they can incorporate into specific curricula. Visitors to the site can also volunteer to critique content, or offer opportunities for the beta testing of new teaching modules in the Fall of 2009 and Spring of 2010.
“Those who understand precision engineering will take the reins of technological leadership into the twenty-first century,” Devitt concluded. “And porous media air bearing technology is a critical component in the world of precision. To be competitive, students must understand the advantages of a ‘frictionless’ non-contact solution. That’s why it’s so important that we provide the finest educational components for the classroom.”
About New Way Air Bearings
New Way® Air Bearings, Inc. is the market leader in the design and manufacture of modular air bearings and is the recognized provider of porous media air bearing solutions. Founded in 1994, New Way is located in Aston, Pennsylvania, USA, just fifteen minutes from Philadelphia International Airport.
New Way was named to Inc. Magazine‘s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing, private companies in America in both 2007 and 2008. In November of 2007, The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce named New Way recipient of its Technological Excellence of the Year Award for 2008. New Way was also named a Deloitte Fast 50Technology company for the Philadelphia, PA, USA Region in 2008.
Visit New Way Air Bearings at www.newwayairbearings.com. This web site includes specifications for the company’s full product range, design and installation guides, mounting hardware, air specifications, technical support, and a full range of accessories.