Kennametal Inc. and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have formed a strategic alliance to advance their capabilities in the areas of materials science, metal-cutting technology, continuous education, and distance learning. It is the third such alliance signed recently by Latrobe, Pa.-based Kennametal, which last month signed similar arrangements with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania State University in University Park. Kennametal and the University of Illinois will collaborate on research-and-development projects related to hard metals, cutting-tool technologies, and advanced manufacturing processes. The alliance also provides opportunities for Kennametal employees to pursue advanced degrees at the university and for the company to recruit talent from the school for potential employment. "The strategic alliance offers opportunities for both faculty and students to collaborate with Kennametal in addressing industry problems," says University Associate Chancellor Steve Schomberg. Kennametal employs approximately 13,000 employees worldwide.