Kennametal Inc. and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign jointly announced today a strategic alliance to advance the leadership capabilities of both organizations in materials science, metalcutting technology, continuous education and distance learning, and other areas of mutual interest. The partnership will provide the University of Illinois with important research support and will benefit Kennametal in several areas of its business as the two organizations collaborate on joint technological projects.

"This is a partnership full of great promise, and we are confident that it will yield many benefits to both parties," said Markos I. Tambakeras, Kennametal's president and chief executive officer. "Kennametal has maintained its global leadership for more than 60 years by constantly enhancing its technological superiority. The University of Illinois is recognized as one of the strongest research universities in the nation. Partnering with the University of Illinois will benefit both parties by advancing research and education. It also will help Kennametal to further extend its leadership in the industry."

The strategic alliance will enable the two organizations to collaborate in several areas, including materials science and metalcutting technologies. This will be facilitated by Kennametal's membership in the University of Illinois' Manufacturing Research Center as well as faculty collaborations in Materials Science. The two organizations will collaborate on research and development projects related to Kennametal's business -- hard metals, cutting- tool technologies and sophisticated manufacturing processes.

The alliance also will provide opportunities for Kennametal personnel to receive advanced degrees at the University of Illinois and for the company to recruit technical talent from the university for potential employment at Kennametal through internships for students and fulltime employment for graduates. Kennametal, the largest tooling solutions supplier in the United States, has more than 550 employees in Illinois.

"The strategic alliance offers opportunities for both faculty and students to collaborate with Kennametal in addressing industry problems," said Associate Chancellor Steve Schomberg. "This makes Illinois' research strengths available to Kennametal while giving faculty and students valuable experience addressing the problems that industry leaders face every day. We also look forward to expanding the relationship to cover Kennametal's needs in continuing education."

Under the agreement, Kennametal and University of Illinois faculty and staff will collaborate on research and development projects related to Kennametal's business -- hard metals, cutting-tool technologies and sophisticated manufacturing processes.

The University of Illinois partnership is the third strategic alliance Kennametal has signed with a major research university. Last month it announced similar arrangements with Carnegie Mellon University of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

Kennametal Inc. aspires to be the premier tooling solutions supplier in the world, with operational excellence throughout the value chain and best-in- class manufacturing and technology. Kennametal strives to deliver superior shareowner value through top-tier financial performance. The company provides customers a broad range of technologically advanced tools, tooling systems and engineering services aimed at improving customers' manufacturing competitiveness.

With 13,000 employees worldwide, the company's annual sales are about $1.8 billion, with a third coming from sales outside the United States. Kennametal is a five-time winner of the GM "Supplier of the Year" award and is represented in more than 60 countries. Kennametal operations in Europe are headquartered in Furth, Germany. Kennametal Asia Pacific operations are headquartered in Singapore.


SOURCE: Kennametal Inc.

Contact: Steve Halvonik, Corporate Public Relations of Kennametal,

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