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UMR Receives $7.3 Million for Aerospace Composites Manufacturing Research

14 May 2004

The University of Missouri-Rolla and Boeing will work together to develop new manufacturing methods for the aerospace industry and the U.S. Air Force through a $7.3 million federal contract.

The contract is the largest federal contract ever received by the university and will establish the Centre for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies on the campus.

Through the centre, UMR researchers will work with Boeing and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to develop new methods for manufacturing aircraft components as well as to promote new training and education programs for the aerospace industry.

The new centre will be housed in UMR’s mechanical and aerospace engineering department and will facilitate research and development in advanced simulation, composites manufacturing and electronic materials processing, high-speed machining, abrasive slurry cutting, rapid prototyping, laser materials processing, friction stir processing, non-chrome coating, non-destructive evaluation.

The project will involve roughly 50 graduate students from a number of disciplines, says Dr. Ming Leu, the Keith and Pat Bailey Missouri Distinguished Professor in Integrated Product Development. Leu will direct the new centre.

""It is critical to our national security that our aerospace industry remains the most innovative in the world,"" says U.S. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., who as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee secured the project funds in the fiscal year 2004 Defense Appropriations bill. ""The new Centre for Aerospace Manufacturing Technologies will help us find new and better ways to build planes. Also, it is programs like this that ensure the University of Missouri-Rolla will continue to be a magnet for top-notch students.""

The grant is for about two years, but the university hopes to continue the project at least five to 10 years. The preliminary research is to be done July 2006.





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