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TecMEN’s annual Industry Day focuses on innovations in technology, engineering, manufacturing

OKALOOSA ISLAND — Some 350 business, group and educational leaders stuffed the halls of the Destin-Fort Walton Beach front Convention Middle on Tuesday to speak tech and community for the duration of the fifth once-a-year TeCMEN Field Day.

TeCMEN is shorthand for the “Technology Coastline Manufacturing and Engineering Community,” a local marketplace team proven in 1989 by 1 Okaloosa Economic Improvement Council. TeCMEN’s associates include more than 40 know-how, engineering and producing firms, as very well as instructional and workforce development companions.

Col. Tony Meeks, commander of the Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base's Air Force Research Laboratory,  talks with students in the Hsu Educational Foundation's UAS Center of Excellence on Tuesday during the fifth annual TeCMEN Industry Day at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center on Okaloosa Island.

Col. Tony Meeks, commander of the Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Power Base’s Air Power Investigate Laboratory, talks with students in the Hsu Academic Foundation’s UAS Heart of Excellence on Tuesday all through the fifth annual TeCMEN Industry Day at the Destin-Fort Walton Seaside Convention Heart on Okaloosa Island.

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“It’s mission is to propagate the development and expansion of our area’s technologies, production and engineering businesses,” explained Nathan Sparks, govt director of the One particular Okaloosa Economic Enhancement Council. “We do that by bringing people corporations with each other regular monthly for purposeful discussions and presentations that align with their desires and alternatives.

“We generate an setting the place sharing of facts is position quo,” Sparks additional. “We understand in that setting you may possibly have (organization) opponents seated following to just one another, but when we’re with each other as TeCMEN we’re all pondering much more broadly about the growth of these industries in our group and region.”

Diane Fraser, director of the Emerald Coast Science Center, gives a demonstration of the center's planetarium to David Lambert on Tuesday during the fifth annual TeCMEN Industry Day held at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center on Okaloosa Island.

Diane Fraser, director of the Emerald Coast Science Middle, presents a demonstration of the center’s planetarium to David Lambert on Tuesday throughout the fifth yearly TeCMEN Marketplace Day held at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach front Conference Heart on Okaloosa Island.

Tuesday’s field working day put together a collection of particular person and panel speaker events, and a huge show hall with far more than 50 providers and companies symbolizing science, know-how, engineering and mathematics industries, or STEM, in Northwest Florida. This year’s theme was innovation, and nowhere was that far more evident than at the show booth for the Hsu Academic Foundation’s Unmanned Aircraft Units Centre of Excellence.

Filling the screen place was a approximately 8-foot-by-10-foot drone referred to as the Sky Dreamer. The gleaming 16-propeller unmanned aerial auto is able of carrying a payload of 350 lbs for up to a person hour.

It can be configured for a wide range of purposes, together with the aerial launching of various smaller sized drones like the Switchblade loitering munition that the United States has been giving to Ukraine in that country’s fight with Russia.

Choctawhatchee IB university student Isabella Negron was one particular of a 50 %-dozen superior school students, two university college students and mentors who worked on the Sky Dreamer project. They fabricated the aluminum body panels on a CNC machine, molded extra human body components from carbon fiber, set up the engines, wiring and batteries, all at the foundation’s north campus at Bob Sikes Airport in Crestview.

Paul Hsu shows Northwest Florida State College President Devin Stephenson the Sky Dreamer unmanned aerial vehicle, which was built by high school and college students in the Hsu Educational Foundation's UAS Center of Excellence in Crestview. The roughly 8-foot by 10-foot drone can carry a payload of 350 pounds for up to one hour. The drone was on display Tuesday at the TeCMEN Industry Day at the Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center on Okaloosa Island.

Paul Hsu shows Northwest Florida Point out Higher education President Devin Stephenson the Sky Dreamer unmanned aerial car, which was built by higher school and university college students in the Hsu Educational Foundation’s UAS Heart of Excellence in Crestview. The about 8-foot by 10-foot drone can carry a payload of 350 kilos for up to 1 hour. The drone was on screen Tuesday at the TeCMEN Marketplace Day at the Destin-Fort Walton Seaside Conference Centre on Okaloosa Island.

“Four months back, (the Sky Dreamer) was a photo on a laptop or computer, and now it’s listed here and it will work,” reported Negron, surprised at what she and her teammates experienced attained in these types of a short time.

“I’ve labored on robotics groups right before, but this task is in a league of its possess,” she added.

Similarly amazed was Hsu Instructional Basis founder Paul Hsu, who created quite a few massive engineering company in the space, including Production Know-how Inc. (MTI) in 1984. By his foundation and a range of private-general public partnerships, Hsu has tried using to nurture and mature the area’s technological know-how, engineering and production capabilities.

“Think about it,” Hsu reported as he pointed out some of the features of the big drone. “The complete point is produced in Crestview. It is unbelievable. I’m just seriously very pleased of the young ones.”

The event’s keynote speaker, Col. Tony Meeks, also experienced some praise for the youthful associates of the Sky Dreamer drone workforce. Meeks shared how he parlayed a boyhood passion for design rockets and space into an Air Drive job that led him to command the Munitions Directorate at Eglin Air Force Base’s Air Pressure Study Laboratory. He available them some insight, and a challenge.

“You’re creative imagination is minimal only by you, so don’t look at this and say ‘We’re done,’ ” Meeks instructed the group. “I’m inquiring you to say ‘What if?’ and ’What now?’ since there is often likely to be a have to have for people today who can perform jointly and who can imagine outdoors the box.”

This report initially appeared on Northwest Florida Every day News: TeCMEN Industry Working day at Destin-Fort Walton Seaside Convention Heart