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Material Gains

The Ohio Federal Research Network awarded the University of Dayton $2 million to set up and lead a Materials and Manufacturing Center of Excellence.

The University will partner with the University of Akron, University of Toledo and Case Western Reserve University to develop new technologies in flexible electronics, magnetic materials for power generation and high-temperature shape-memory materials, areas identified by the Air Force Research Laboratory as well as the NASA Glenn Research Center as key technology needs for future aerospace applications.

Ultimately the four-university team will work with additional Ohio colleges and a number of industry partners to facilitate the commercialization of technologies for use in defense, aerospace and other industries. 

The University was one of four universities to receive Ohio Federal Research Network funding to establish and manage centers of excellence. Other awards went to Case Western Reserve University for research and development in energy storage, to The Ohio State University for power and propulsion, and to Wright State University for human performance and health science. 

The Ohio Federal Research Network, established by the Ohio Federal Military Jobs Commission in 2015, coordinated the centers of excellence awards competition. The network's mission is to strategically increase federal research spending in Ohio, advance research initiatives aimed at meeting emerging Department of Defense and NASA technology needs, and enhance university collaborations with Ohio-based companies, said Steve Szaruga, a researcher with the University of Dayton Research Institute's Multi-Scale Composites & Polymers division. 

"Another major priority for the Federal Research Network is the creation of jobs in technical disciplines of interest to the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, NASA Glenn and other federal research facilities," Szaruga said. "These centers of excellence will help fulfill that goal by employing university graduate students in research and development. Not only does that provide an excellent academic research experience for the students, but it helps prepare a workforce that will be ready to support future federal hiring needs." 

Szaruga will serve as director for the Materials and Manufacturing Center of Excellence, while John Leland, University of Dayton vice president for research, will serve as executive director for the program. 

"UDRI is already a national leader in advanced materials and manufacturing technologies," Szaruga said. "This center will allow us – UDRI as well as our university and industry partners – to expand our expertise." 


News and Communications Staff