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A Legacy of Research Excellence

How It Started

It was 1956 – seven years after the University of Dayton secured its first research contract (translating aircraft flight-loads data for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) – and UD had some 20 projects underway. John Westerheide, who had been hired to lead the University’s first full-time researchers on a classified project, predicted that an organized research environment would be the only way to coordinate quickly growing efforts and position UD to compete with other universities and research organizations. Taking pen to paper, Westerheide crafted a seven-page proposal for the “establishment of a centralized research organization at the University of Dayton.” On Sept. 1, 1956, UDRI was born.

Elevating Innovation

Over the course of six and a half decades, the Research Institute has become a globally recognized leader in research, development and transition of technologies that have not only advanced science, but benefited mankind. UDRI has excelled in advanced materials, engineering, aerospace technologies, structural physics, energy, sensors and much more, growing from $1 million in research revenue in its first year to $170 million in fiscal year 2020—and topping $2.75 billion in cumulative sponsored research the same year. With each passing year, the University of Dayton Research Institute continues to build on the legacy of innovation for which it—and the city of Dayton—are so well known.


University of Dayton Research Institute

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0101