Wave of the Future11.22.2010 | Campus and Community, Engineering
GE Aviation will locate a new Electrical Power Integrated Systems Research and Development Center (EPISCENTER) on the University of Dayton campus.
The proposed site is located in the Ohio Aerospace Hub of Innovation, enabling GE Aviation to participate as an initial launch partner of the hub. The center will be a catalyst for new contracts and products, resulting in job growth at the EPISCENTER and at GE locations such as Vandalia.
"We created the Ohio Hubs of Innovation and Opportunity program to recognize the unique strengths of our cities and help them do more of what they do best. And we began the hub program right here in Dayton because of the incomparable concentration of aerospace talent, facilities and resources from the government, academic and private sectors," said Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. "We pledged to work with each of our hubs to spur new economic development. And today, right here, we see exactly what that can produce."
The $51 million center will be built on about eight acres on the University of Dayton's campus on River Park Drive. The University will work with CityWide Development Corp. to build the facility to GE's specifications. GE anticipates entering into a long-term lease agreement with the University of Dayton and CityWide following an environmental review and clearance. The 115,000-square-foot facility is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2012 and operational by the end of 2012.
"The center's close proximity to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the University of Dayton Research Institute is important in order to provide significant new support to the Air Force Research Labs and the University," said Vic Bonneau, president, Electrical Power Systems for GE Aviation. "The University's researchers will work with GE to develop and deploy cutting-edge computer modeling, simulation and analysis of advanced, dynamic electric power systems design and controls."
The center will be directed at several markets, including end-to-end electrical power starter/generation, conversion, distribution and load technologies for civil and military aerospace applications.
"It's rare for a global company of GE's stature to locate a new research facility on a college campus, but this is the future for leading universities," said Daniel J. Curran, president of the University of Dayton. "Dayton is establishing itself as a national center for aerospace research and development — and the University of Dayton is a significant contributor. Together, GE and University of Dayton researchers will create new advanced electrical power technologies. The applications are endless — from new power systems for aircraft to longer-range electric cars to smarter utility power grids for more efficient delivery of electricity. This is the bold kind of technology-based economic development initiative that this region and our state need.
"When the University of Dayton purchased this land five years ago, we made a commitment that we would try to attract strong companies that could spur research and economic development for the region. This is that vision coming to fruition,” Curran said.
In March, GE announced it would build the EPISCENTER in or near Dayton. The project was enabled by an Ohio Third Frontier capital grant for up to $7.6 million. While GE recognized the value of locating in the Aerospace Hub, making such a decision competitive with other options required significant collaboration between the University of Dayton, GE, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County and CityWide Development Corp. It also demonstrates the value of the Aerospace Hub in attracting jobs and providing a focus for economic development efforts.
The EPISCENTER will complement GE Aviation's new Electrical Power Integrated Center (EPIC) located in Cheltenham, UK, which will be fully operational by March 2011. Together, these two state-of-the-art research centers will augment GE Aviation's existing research-and-development capabilities, further enabling collaborative research and driving innovation.
This new center adds to GE's leading research-and-development capabilities, which are focused on finding solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges. Research employees at the center will complement 2,800 researchers and employees at GE's global research facilities.
GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of jet engines, components and integrated systems for commercial and military aircraft. GE Aviation has a global service network to support these offerings. GE Aviation Systems LLC and GE Aviation Systems Ltd are subsidiaries of General Electric Company. For more information, visit www.ge.com/aviation.
The University of Dayton is a top-tier national Catholic research university with an annual sponsored research volume of nearly $100 million. It's the largest private university in Ohio.