Tuesday October 30, 2012

Keeping Pace

The "intellectual heart and soul" of GE Aviation's electrical power business remains on pace to open in summer 2013.

GE Aviation's new research-and-development center remains on pace for a summer 2013 opening, with windows, roof shingles and all exterior brick and stonework expected to be completed before winter.

The GE Aviation Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center will be "the intellectual heart and soul" of GE's electrical power business with potentially 150 to 200 researchers in the next five years depending on future research programs, according to Lorraine A. Bolsinger, president and CEO of GE Aviation Systems.

Located on eight acres on River Park Drive on the University of Dayton's campus, the center includes two parts - a 50,000 square-foot office portion and an 89,000 square-foot lab portion.

"The last of the ground floor concrete slabs in the office building were poured this week," said David Schmidt, University of Dayton director of construction management. "Nearly all of the ground floor concrete slabs, ones specially designed to accommodate lab equipment, have been poured. After those are in place, interior block work will begin to be installed, defining the individual labs and work spaces."

GE Aviation broke ground on the new center in April 2011.

"We are very excited to see the progress being made on the construction of the building," said Derek Busboom, project manager for GE Aviation. "The EPISCENTER will be a catalyst for new contracts and products resulting in job growth not only at the center, but for the greater Dayton area businesses as well." 

The center will be the University's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified (LEED) building. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification provides independent verification a building was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Much of the construction material is recycled. The adhesives, paints, flooring and wood materials used are classified as "low-emitting materials," or not giving off many pollutants. More than 50 percent of construction waste will be diverted from landfills.

The lab will be close to bus lines and a bicycle path to encourage employees to use environmentally friendly alternatives to driving to work.

Landscaping will be water-efficient and the plumbing system is designed to reduce water consumption.

In the center, University researchers will work side by side with GE Aviation scientists and engineers to create new advanced electrical power technologies such as new power systems for aircraft, longer-range electric cars and smarter utility power grids for more efficient delivery of electricity.

The center will give a strong boost to aerospace research and education and offer internships and co-op experiences for University of Dayton students from various disciplines. Ultimately, the University could develop a concentration, minor or major in the high-tech discipline of power generation.

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