Dotson Named to NIST Panel

Foundry chairman aims to improve R&D resources for small manufacturers


The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership recently appointed Dotson Iron Castings chairman Dennis Dotson to its advisory board for a three-year term.

Dotson is the son and grandson of foundrymen and the longtime president of the Mankato, MN, gray and ductile iron foundry. He became chairman of the company earlier this year. In September, FM&T named Dotson as the 49th inductee to the Hall of Honor.

NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency, a part of the U.S. Commerce Dept. that fosters U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology. Its Manufacturing Extension Partnerships program is an effort that directs financial support to small manufacturers through a nationwide network of centers that assist small manufacturers by helping them identify and address new market opportunities.

Dotson told Enterprise Minnesota magazine that he hopes to shape the growth of those programs.

“The Obama administration is looking at doubling the NIST/MEP program [funding] over the next three or four years, from roughly $125 million to $250 million,” he said. “The exciting thing for me is: How do you make sure that you continue to add incredible value to manufacturers when the organization doubles in size?

“I am convinced that for smaller manufacturers, the outside help that an MEP program can provide is the difference, in many cases, of survival or not,” he continued. “Providing training and consulting services can bring manufacturers up to another level.” 

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