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Georgia AIM welcomes new managing director for industry partnerships

A new member of the Georgia Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing (Georgia AIM) leadership team will serve as a key connector between industry and Georgia AIM innovations and workforce development programs.

Steven Ferguson, who begins March 16 as a principal research scientist with the Georgia Institute of Technology, comes to Georgia AIM from the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). In his previous role, Ferguson served as chief information officer, where he led information technology, research, innovation, and data enterprises across Georgia’s technical colleges.

Steven FergusonNow, Ferguson will leverage his experience working in technical education and workforce development to connect with Georgia companies. In this new role, he will also be the executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium. This new collaborative within Georgia AIM gives manufacturers exclusive access to emerging technologies at Georgia Tech’s Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility.

“I’m excited to join the team at Georgia Tech as I will get to work extremely close with both manufacturers and the research community,” said Ferguson. “For years, I’ve helped translate knowledge gained through research into hands-on training for the workforce. Now, I get to dedicate my time to that — I’m committed to working hand-in-hand to bridge the knowledge gap and get cutting-edge technology to Georgia’s manufacturers.”

Ferguson said one of his passions is serving the incumbent workforce — specifically, employees who have significant on-the-job experience. This will be key in his new role with the Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium, Ferguson said, as he can work closely with manufacturers to better understand their current and future workforce needs.

Addressing gaps in the workforce is also a main goal for Georgia AIM, which is working to connect artificial intelligence to manufacturers across the state. Automation, collaborative robots, sensors, and data collection are all part of smart technologies revolutionizing manufacturing. But a trained workforce is essential in order to implement these changes.

After a long and successful career with TCSG, Ferguson said he is eager to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead with Georgia AIM.

“To truly integrate AI technology into manufacturing, we need to ensure that the incumbent workforce is not just familiar but comfortable with these advancements,” he said. “While manufacturing inherently focuses on production, our aim is to make technology a fundamental aspect of this sector’s growth and evolution.”