Wednesday November 4, 2009

Stimulating Research

The University has received nearly $2.8 million in federal stimulus funds to help students, provide energy audits to businesses and conduct aviation research into better fuels and composite materials.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland announced this week the University of Dayton will receive $140,000 in federal stimulus funds for its Industrial Assessment Center.

The Industrial Assessment Center in the School of Engineering performs energy audits for companies, resulting in an estimated half-billion dollars in savings during the past 15 years. It received the 2003 U.S. Department of Energy National Center of Excellence Award and the 2006 Ohio Governor's Award for Energy Excellence.

So far, the University of Dayton is slated to receive nearly $2.8 million in federal stimulus funds.

More than $1.8 million will help improve processes to manufacture aviation components.

A major barrier to full implementation of composite materials into aerospace applications is the lack of data and models linking defect parameters to thermo-mechanical behavior and subsequent failure, according to University of Dayton researcher Ollie Scott.

This study on composite materials will create specimens with defects, thermo-mechanically test them to failure and correlate the test results. At the end of this work, engineers will be able to specify allowable defect parameters in aerospace components. Successful completion of this research will result in increased quality while reducing costs and processing times, Scott added.

Nearly $500,000 will go to performing assessments of biomass-derived and alternative aviation fuels on aircraft engine exhaust emissions. Improved methods for studying exhaust streams of high-pressure turbine engines and combustors will improve operations and the environmental impact of aircraft and ground-based platforms. It will reduce the time for development and certification of viable fuel candidates, according to University of Dayton researcher Matt Dewitt.

Nearly $175,000 of the stimulus money assisted 16 students at the University of Dayton in a federal work-study program that provides need-based financial aid.

Another $120,000 will fund research in the characterization of magnetic distortions in closed circuit magnetic measurements.

The University of Dayton is second in the nation in performing materials research. It ranks 11th among all universities in federally sponsored engineering research and development.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.