AMP SoCal’s Fac-a-thon Links Faculty’s Top Minds to Manufacturing’s Top Research Needs

Published July 7, 2016

The AMP SoCal led Fac-a-thon unites faculty researchers from colleges and universities across the region, pooling their collective brain-power to solve some of the aerospace and defense (A&D) manufacturing industry’s most pressing research issues, while also simultaneously advancing manufacturing development and technology across the nation.

Southern California boasts over 80 educational institutions, with top-ranking programs covering numerous engineering, technical and manufacturing disciplines, nearly half of these institutions are partners within the AMP SoCal network. Leveraging the strong existing foundation of knowledge and research, AMP SoCal seeks to enlist its academic partners for the Fac-a-thon and its unique opportunity to impact the A&D industrial ecosystem together.

The six research categories Fac-a-thon is enlisting faculty to participate in as listed on the website:
Pictured above are the six research categories Fac-a-thon is enlisting faculty to participate in as shown on the website:

Building off of the “hackathon” model, where programmers and developers across technology fields hold a focused collaborative session for the successful creation of a product, AMP SoCal has developed a similarly structured Fac-a-thon. The initiative is employing the expertise of faculty researchers for the following six industry research categories: Future Aerospace Platform Component Systems, Composite Materials and Advanced Materials, Battery Technology, Sensors, Advanced Manufacturing, and Coating and High Temperature Alloys. The first objective is to prepare and submit a proposal to the National Science Foundation’s Industry/University Cooperative Research Center. This ties into the Fac-a-thon’s ultimate goal of sharpening the competitive edge of A&D manufacturers and their supply chain, which includes more efficient technologies and processes for product development.

Dr. Marie Talnack is Director of Cal Poly Pomona’s Technology Transfer Office and Industry Clinic, and the AMP SoCal Infrastructure and Site Development Committee Chair, as well as AMP SoCal Research & Innovation Committee Vice-Chair. A major interest of hers is the transfer of technologies in order to commercialize technology and create new business opportunities. Dr. Talnack developed the Fac-a-thon initiative and key technical questions to launch the conversations.

Dr. Marie Talnack speaks at the AMP SoCal Technology Transfer Innovation Forum. (Photo: Hinde Kast)

“Imagine a way to take all the smartest people and get them communicating and working on a single problem. Imagine the ideas that could be generated,” said Dr. Talnack to a room full of Southern California manufacturers and the area’s university-affiliated Technology Transfer professionals at the recent AMP SoCal Innovation Forum. “That’s what we’re hoping to accomplish with the Fac-a-thon.”

If you are interested in learning more about Fac-a-thon, please visit:


About AMP SoCal
The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership of Southern California (AMP SoCal) is a collaboration of government, academia and industry united in the common goal of strengthening the industrial ecosystem for aerospace and defense (A&D) manufacturers throughout the 10-county Southern California region. The Price School-USC Center for Economic Development leads the AMP SoCal effort, in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, and more than 135 companies and organizations. Together the AMP SoCal network leverages the combined knowledge, innovation and support of its members to grow and sustain the A&D industry and its supply chain. To learn more about how AMP SoCal is building a better future for the A&D industry, visit