Intellectual Heart and Soul04.30.2012 | Research, Energy and Environment, Campus and Community, Science, Hot Topics, Engineering, Students
When GE Aviation's new $51 million Electrical Power Integrated Systems Center opens on the University of Dayton's campus next year, it will be "the intellectual heart and soul" of the company's electrical power business, Lorraine A. Bolsinger, president and CEO of GE Aviation Systems, told business leaders at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce's 2012 annual meeting April 30.
"It will create more electric power than any lab of its kind in the world — nine megawatts of power. That's enough wattage to power a small town," she said in a keynote address. "This is not a center where people will walk around in white lab coats and tinker in R&D as a hobby. GE scientists will team with UD graduate students and faculty to develop new electrical power systems for future aircraft. And we will sell them worldwide."
By the end of 2013, GE Aviation will employ 50 people at the center. Within five years, the company projects a workforce of between 150 and 200 researchers.
GE Aviation, the world's largest jet engine supplier for the airline industry, operates six facilities and employs more than 9,000 people in Ohio. As the country shakes off a recession, GE Aviation has increased employment in Ohio by 7 percent in the past two years.
"We will almost double our engine production over the course of a decade. Few businesses — in Ohio or elsewhere — can make such a claim. The secret is we never take a season off," Bolsinger said. "In good times and in bad GE Aviation has invested more than $1 billion in R&D and new products year after year."
In the Electrical Power Research Lab, 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.
The lab 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.