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(Last updated 11/4/03)



COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State University engineers shared in nearly $23 million in grants this week as part of a program designed to develop Ohio as a center for high-tech industry and create jobs across the state.

The largest grant Ohio State received in this round of funding from Governor Bob Taft's Third Frontier program provides $10.8 million to create the Ohio Center for Advanced Propulsion and Power (OCAPP), which will serve as a nexus for statewide expertise in aerospace engineering.

“This is a very important award for OSU and our university and industry partners,” Said Tom Rosol, interim vice president for research and a professor of veterinary biosciences at Ohio State.

“It will build on an area of excellence and enhance research and development of state-of-the-art engines for business and noncommercial uses in Ohio. It will also lead to new high-tech, high-paying jobs for Ohioans in the aeropropulsion industry.”

The multi-institutional OCAPP team was strategically chosen to span the different kinds of technologies required by an aircraft engine manufacturer, explained Jim Williams, dean of the College of Engineering and Honda Professor of Materials in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

With the capital equipment purchases funded by this award, OCAPP will be positioned to serve top aerospace partners such as NASA, the United States Air Force, and GE Aircraft Engines, Williams said.

Among the technologies to be developed at OCAPP are turbomachinery and combustion and compressor technology -- all critical to building powerful engines. The center will also investigate new engine control devices based on microscopic devices known as MEMS, or microelectrical mechanical systems.

Another benefit to the grant is that Ohio State “will produce students that understand the needs of the industry, and who can be immediately productive. This is becoming a critical, since much of our current work force is approaching retirement, and our hiring needs will be significant in the next 10 years,” Williams said.

The university is also a partner in an $11.1 million, Third Frontier grant awarded to Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, to establish a Wright Center of Innovation for Advanced Data Management and Analysis. The vast wealth of data collected by software today calls for new technologies that help people manage information and share critical data with others -- often with many people in different locations.

Ohio State will bring expertise in areas such as database organization, computer network design, and human-computer interaction to the collaboration, said Stu Zweben, professor and chair of the Department of Computer and Information Science.

The university's $1 million share of the Wright State award will be used to boost data storage and computation facilities, develop an improved computer visualization center, and help connect Ohio State to the Third Frontier network, which will give various institutions around the state the high-speed connectivity they need to collaborate.

In yet another award, the Business Technology Center will administer $1.1 million for student internships with Ohio businesses. About $630,000 will support Ohio State students, who will gain valuable hands-on experience with technology, and in turn be encouraged to continue working in Ohio after graduation, explained Cheena Srinivasan, professor and chair of mechanical engineering.

Ohio State's many partners on the $10.8 million OCAPP center include: University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, Case Western Reserve University, University of Akron, Air Force Institute of Technology, the Air Force Research Laboratories at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, NASA Glenn Research Center, GE Aircraft Engines, Parker Hannifin, Timken Corp., Argo-Tech Corp., WebCore, Glennan Microsystems, Inc., and AEP Em Tech, LLC.

Additional partners on the Wright Center of Innovation for Advanced Data Management and Analysis include: Kent State University, Ohio Supercomputer Center, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, Wright Brothers Institute, Reynolds & Reynolds, CDO Technologies, Cincinnati Bell, Cincom Systems, CincyTechUSA, EDS, Intelliseek, James Gregory Associates, Lexis-Nexis, NCR, Online Computer Library Center, Procter & Gamble, Science Applications International Corp., Solve Interactive, Standard Register, and Uniform Code Council.


Contact: Tom Rosol, (614) 292-1582; Rosol.1@osu.edu

Written by Pam Frost Gorder, (614) 292-9475; Gorder.1@osu.edu