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Taylor Renner fills role of Research Institute associate director of business services to help support continued growth

The University of Dayton Research Institute welcomed Taylor Renner to the new role of associate director of business services. In her position, Renner will assume oversight of the Institute's administrative functions, currently managed by executive director Allan Crasto.

The move is designed to allow Crasto, who also manages research operations at UDRI, to focus on sustaining and continuing the significant organizational growth UDRI has enjoyed for a number of years.

A native Ohioan who most recently worked at Applied Research Solutions in Beavercreek, Renner was selected from a pool of applicants from across the country in a nationwide search.

"We were delighted to find someone not only familiar with our community and its local research assets, but someone already familiar with UDRI," Crasto said. "Taylor understands the bulk of our business. Over the last 10 years, she has worked with many of our same sponsors and has developed expertise in the practices, policies, guidelines and constraints of contracting with the Department of Defense. Along with a track record of success in team and relationship building, she will be a very good fit for our organization."

As associate director, Renner will oversee UDRI's accounting, purchasing and information technologies offices, as well as business functions related to facilities, safety, budget and financial reporting, security and export control. 

Renner worked at Riverside Research for eight years before moving to Applied Research Solutions, its small-business subsidiary, in 2016. As director of Dayton operations, she oversaw business strategy, customer engagement, employee management and retention, marketing and proposal management.  

Renner, who holds a Bachelor of Science from Ohio State University and an MBA from Wright State University, said she was drawn to UDRI because of its extensive history in research and development and technology transition, as well as its reputation for integrity.

"The breadth and depth of UDRI’s technical portfolio, coupled with its continual growth, is truly impressive," she said.

The Research Institute performs more than 90 percent of sponsored research at UD, significantly contributing to the University's recent spate of record-breaking research growth. UD closed fiscal year 2019 with $166 million in sponsored research revenue, marking five straight years of growth in excess of 10 percent. Research at UDRI has also propelled the University to first place among all colleges in the U.S. in materials research.

In addition, the number of employees at UDRI has grown by 35 percent since Crasto became director in 2016, and researchers continue to expand into new and evolving technologies.

"We continue to work in our legacy research areas, such as materials and aircraft sustainment, but the types of technologies we use in those areas are rapidly changing," Crasto said, pointing to recent growth in the areas of additive manufacturing, cold spray and robotics as examples. "While this growth has been great for our organization and our customers, it also brings challenges that must be addressed in order for us to maintain the level and quality of research for which we have earned renown. Divesting administrative oversight will allow me to focus on strategic planning, facilitating stable and sustainable growth for UDRI, and exploring the best ways to recruit and retain the types of talented employees who have made our organization so successful."

For media interviews, contact Pamela Gregg, UDRI communications coordinator, at pamela.gregg@udri.udayton.edu or 937-229-3268.


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