Purdue's portion of a five-year public-private collaboration is under way with the groundbreaking of the Indiana Manufacturing Institute, where researchers will work to improve composite materials manufacturing and to advance energy-saving technologies.
Composite materials are used in products which need to be lightweight but strong. Gary Bertoline, dean of the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, noted that faculty and students in the Department of Aviation Technology will benefit from the creation of the Indiana Manufacturing Institute.
"Airplanes and other forms of aviation technologies are primary benefactors of the continuing developments of advanced composite materials," Bertoline said. "One of our strategic goals for the Purdue Polytechnic Institute is to provide our students with skills, knowledge and experiences for a 21st century education, and this initiative will help us do that."
The institute is part of a collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the University of Tennessee, Purdue University, and other public and private agencies in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Colorado.
About half of the new 62,000 square foot facility will be used for Purdue research. The remainder is reserved for public or private enterprises who want to collaborate on composite materials research with Purdue. Scheduled for completion in mid-2016, it will be built in the Purdue Research Park at the corner of Yeager Rd. and Challenger Ave.