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The Advanced Manufacturing Center

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Full-Time Staff

John Belding — Director


John A. Belding, P.E. has been with the Advanced Manufacturing Center since July of 2008 as Assistant Director. John became a Licensed Professional Engineer in December of 2009 and was promoted to Director. He is responsible for all operations at the center; including supervision of all shop activities, project management, estimating project costs, time budgets, and business outreach. John’s main objectives at AMC are to support economic development in Maine by creating, designing, and building unique solutions for businesses and by making the expertise and services of the AMC more accessible to Maine businesses.

John graduated from the University of Maine in 1996 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology and has been involved with the University over the past 12 years as an Industrial Advisory board member for the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program.

Prior to coming to the University of Maine, John worked at ZF Lemforder, a high volume OEM automotive suspension supplier as a Senior Manufacturing Engineer. During his tenure at ZF he developed numerous advanced manufacturing processes to produce suspension components, including, Pneumatic Hydraulic and CNC automation, Robotics, Die casting, Fatigue testing, and 3D CAD design. John is also a certified Six Sigma Greenbelt and has been trained in Process Failure Analysis, Lean Manufacturing, and Ergonomics.

James Bryant — Project Manager


James Bryant, P.E. is the Project Manager for the Advanced Manufacturing Center.  He is responsible for the timely and effective execution of projects, and acts as a liaison for the facility.  James performs a mix of design, research, experimentation, and manufacturing efforts for clients.

James attended the University of Maine and graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technologies in 2004. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Maine.  Prior to joining the AMC in the fall of 2008 James worked in the Semiconductor Industry for a leading manufacturer of high speed, high precision automated device packaging, sorting, and bonding equipment.  He designed servo and stepper driven assemblies for new, retrofit, and continuing products and designed precision positioning systems for machine alignment.  James also worked for an OEM Heat Pump manufacturer.  He was involved in developing future product generations, coordinating inventory control and product safety compliance, and working with technicians in line process and product improvements.

James has experience in system and machine design, pneumatic components and controls, multiple axis servo / stepper coordination and control, optical assemblies, high rigidity structures, sheet metal and enclosure design, refrigeration systems, data acquisition systems, optical and mechanical sensors, and assembly and manufacturing process documentation.

Allen Treadwell — Electrician

Allen has 25+ years experience as a State of Maine Licensed Electrician including 20+ years as a Heavy Industrial Electrician in the paper and power generation industries.

Allen has worked for various construction companies serving as an electrician, foreman, general foreman, and superintendent.

Here at the AMC he assists with design and implementation of prototype manufacturing. He provides design, integration, installation, and repair of machine electrical systems and components. He also has responsibilities with AutoCad electrical drawings, welding, and machining. Some of the equipment used include the CNC plasma table, Stratasys 3d prototype machine, Epilog laser engraver and much more.

Chris Coplin — Administrative and Financial Officer


Christopher Coplin is an Administrative & Financial Officer and has been with the University of Maine since September of 2008. Chris manages all aspects regarding administrative and financial issues for the AMC and supported partners. Chris acts as a financial and administrative liaison with University and outside clients and serves as principal interface in managing and coordinating all activities for the AMC.

Prior to coming to the University of Maine, Chris was a Product Development Sr. Specialist with Merrill Lynch Financial Data Services in Jacksonville Florida.

Christopher is a Michigan native and graduated from Michigan State University in 1994 with a B.A. in Psychology.

Ryan Perro

Ryan Perro is the Assistant Project Manager at the Advanced Manufacturing Facility. He is responsible for quality control and inspection, ensuring smooth work flow, overseeing and assisting with manufacturing, student training on machines, ensuring safety, estimations, machine maintenance, and measuring equipment calibration.

Ryan earned his Precision Machining degree from Central Maine Community College in 2008 and has worked as a machinist since then. He is proficient with manual and CNC machinery, as well as CAD/CAM software. His background includes lean manufacturing, multiple setups, jig and fixture design, geometric dimensioning and tolerances (GD&T), ISO 9001 procedures, and high-production machining processes. Ryan is also currently enrolled at the University of Maine in Mechanical Engineering Technology, and is working towards finishing his B.S. degree for 2013.

Associate Staff

Vincent Caccese, Ph.D., P.E.

Dr. Caccese is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine. He holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from Drexel University and professional engineering licenses in Maine and Pennsylvania. Vince’s expertise includes structural mechanics, experimental mechanics, impact and fatigue testing, finite element analysis, vibration analysis and measurement, and mechanics of inflatable/deployable space structures.


Burt Hopler

Burt is Tool and Die maker with over 51 years of experience in his field.  He has been consulting for the AMC since 2008.  His background encompasses designing fixtures, jigs, tooling, and processes for all manner and scopes of machining operations ranging from miniature high precision parts to large scale fabricated weldments.  For more than 40 years Burt has has managed, owned, and operated manufacturing facilities for industries ranging from aircraft, computer, shoe making, oil drilling, tooling, electric, and general machine components.

Image Description: JohnBelding

Image Description: JamesBryant

Image Description: AllenTreadwell

Image Description: ChrisCoplin

Image Description: Vincent Caccese


Contact Information

The Advanced Manufacturing Center
5796 AMC Building
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: 207-581-2756 | Fax: 207-581-2725E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System