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University sets another record with $170.5 million in sponsored research

The University of Dayton achieved another year of record research with $170.5 million in sponsored research performed in fiscal year 2019. This is a nearly 7 percent increase over last year's record of $159.8 million.

John Leland, University of Dayton vice president for research, said research efforts underway at the University of Dayton Research Institute contributed most significantly to the University’s research growth. New awards in fiscal year 2019 that also helped the University eclipse its previous annual benchmark, as well as hit the $2.5 billion milestone in cumulative sponsored research, include Air Force contracts in hypersonics, advanced power technologies for aircraft, structures technologies for aerospace systems, and engineering systems for landing gear.

"The University is heavily investing in new areas of faculty research, and continually developing ways to foster interdisciplinary, collaborative research projects between its academic departments and its Research Institute," Leland said. "While the vast majority of research projects at universities take place on a lab bench, researchers at UDRI are increasingly working on solving problems and moving technology into application or testing new and existing technologies and demonstrating them in the field."

Perhaps one of the most visible UD research projects isn't in the field, but rather a parking lot. UDRI took possession of a decommissioned C-130 from Eglin Air Force Base to work with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to demonstrate and test a number of technologies designed to lower the cost of sustaining the Air Force’s C-130 fleet.

"I can look outside my window at a C-130 Hercules in our parking lot," Leland said. "That's pretty cool. For UDRI to have an aircraft on hand, where researchers can test and demonstrate technology solutions in a real environment, shows its progress in this area as an organization."

The University of Dayton performs more sponsored materials research and development than any other college or university in the country, according to the most recent data available from the National Science Foundation (fiscal year 2017).

Below are other highlights from the NSF data.

  • Nationally, UD ranks fifth for all sponsored industrial and manufacturing engineering research and development, eighth in federally sponsored engineering research and development, ninth in total research expenditures among private four-year U.S. universities without medical schools, and 23rd nationally for all sponsored engineering research and development.
  • Among the nation's Catholic universities, UD ranks first for all sponsored engineering research and development.
  • In Ohio, UD is No. 1 among all colleges and universities for federally sponsored engineering research and development and Department of Defense research and development.

"The University's research program continues to thrive and grow under the bold and visionary leadership of John Leland and UDRI Executive Director Allan Crasto," said Paul H. Benson, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. "The strategic direction they provide enables the University to take advantage of opportunities and position itself well for future growth." 

The University of Dayton Research Institute performs research and development in advanced manufacturing, autonomy, energy and power, human technologies, hypersonics, materials, sensors, software, structures and systems and sustainment. It employs approximately 640 full-time and part-time, benefits-eligible professional researchers, technicians and administrative staff, an increase of nearly 200 in past three years. Nearly 100 faculty and 370 students also engage in sponsored research.

For interviews, contact Pamela Gregg, UDRI communication administrator, at 937-229-3268 or, or Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at or 937-229-3391. 


News and Communications Staff