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We’re number 1!

By Pamela Gregg, Communication Administrator, UDRI

The University of Dayton performs more sponsored materials research and development than any other college or university in the country, according to the newest data available by the National Science Foundation. Based on research expenditures at nearly 650 U.S. colleges and universities in fiscal year 2017, the NSF ranks top-performing schools in dozen of categories, including types of research.

Since 1992, the earliest year NSF data tables for higher education are archived online, UD has been among the top 10 schools for materials research save one year, and it has ranked second or third in the nation since 2002.

The University of Dayton Research Institute, which performs more than 90 percent of research at UD, has performed materials research throughout its 62-year history, according to John Leland, vice president for research. “We started developing capabilities in materials in partnership with the Air Force shortly before UDRI got its start,” Leland said. “We’re not just working at the fundamental level of research,” Leland added. “Our efforts go to creating new materials, developing ways to manufacture them, putting them into application, solving the life-cycle issues that arise once they’re in use and, finally, developing the means to dispose of them in ways that are environmentally responsible.”

UDRI director Allan Crasto attributes UD’s national ranking in part to the great diversity in the types of materials research it pursues. “Although materials is a legacy area for us, we continue to excel at identifying emerging fields and trends in materials, such as alternative fuels and additive manufacturing,” Crasto said. “And we have always been adept at finding creative solutions to challenging materials problems.”

Faculty and UDRI researchers have made significant contributions in the areas of polymers, composites, high-temperature ceramics, nanomaterials, additive manufacturing—a relatively new and quickly evolving field—and more.

In 2007, researcher Karl Strnat was included in a list of the 100 “Greatest Moments in Materials Science and Engineering,” for his work with colleagues in the 1966 discovery of magnetic properties of rare earth-cobalt alloys. Their discovery facilitated not only the miniaturization of devices that previously required heavy and bulky magnets, but also gave rise to the development of many electronic devices that require tiny motors, speakers, transmitters and receivers—think personal computers, mobile phones, digital cameras—along with advanced telecommunications systems, medical technology such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and much more.

Other top national rankings for UD include 5th place for research and development in industrial and manufacturing engineering, 8th place for federally sponsored engineering research, and 9th place for research and development in all categories among private, four-year universities that do not perform medical research.

For media inquiries, contact Pamela Gregg at 937-229-3268 or pamela.gregg@udri.udayton.edu.

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