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GE to be lead research sponsor at new Notre Dame tech center

Fri, 06/27/2014 - 3:03pm

The University of Notre Dame, along with GE and four other public entities, are collaborating on a $36 million project to create a unique research and testing center to advance the technology of gas turbine engines used for jet aircraft, power generation plants, and the oil and gas industry. GE has committed $13.5 million over the next five years to fund research at the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Facility, which was unveiled today in South Bend, Indiana.

“The important rig testing we will do at the center builds upon GE’s already strong and longstanding technical relationship with the university. For years, GE has turned to Notre Dame for top technical talent.”

GE has committed $13.5 million over the next five years to fund research at the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Facility, which was unveiled today in South Bend, Indiana. The GE industrial operations to be involved in gas turbine research and testing at the new center are Aviation, Power & Water, Oil & Gas, and Global Research.

Construction on the 25,000-square-foot center, to be located at the city’s Ignition Park, will begin this summer, with completion slated for March 2015. The university-staffed center, which features five new test bays for compressor and turbine rig testing, is expected to be fully operational in July 2016.

“The center will allow GE’s industrial businesses to simulate full-scale engine operating environments,” said Rick Stanley, vice president and chief technologist for GE’s Power & Water business, and himself, a Notre Dame graduate. “The important rig testing we will do at the center builds upon GE’s already strong and longstanding technical relationship with the university. For years, GE has turned to Notre Dame for top technical talent.”

Approximately 450 Notre Dame graduates are employed across GE’s businesses. Over the past decade, GE’s industrial businesses have already conducted about $10 million in research and testing at Notre Dame.

Since 2003, Notre Dame’s current Turbomachinery Laboratory has collaborated with industry and government to advance gas turbine engine technologies. The new Turbomachinery Facility will expand this effort by testing engine components at pressures and temperatures higher than any at current U.S. university facilities. Notre Dame will use the new facility to advance current working relationships with both government sponsors and all manufacturers of gas-turbine engines.

Notre Dame will contribute $7.5 million to the project. In addition to GE, other contributors include: the city of South Bend with matching funds exceeding $4.4 million, the state of Indiana, through the Indiana Economic Development Corp., which is providing $2.6 million for training and an Industrial Development grant; Great Lakes Capital, which is providing approximately $6 million to construct the facility; and AEP, which will build a substation, valued at $2 million, to provide the considerable power needed to operate the facility’s multiple test cells.

When fully operational, the new facility will provide about 60 new jobs to directly operate the facility. An additional 60 jobs are expected through the growth of local suppliers to support the facility’s need for precision manufactured components. At full operation, research expenditures generated through work conducted at ND Turbo are expected to exceed $15 million annually.

Source: GE Global Research

 
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