Multidisciplinary Engineering Research Centers (ERCs)
Purdue Engineering has received and renewed some very prestigious large center awards, including:
The National Science Foundation ERC for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power
This center is led by Monika Ivantysynova, Purdue’s MAHA Professor of Fluid Power Systems in the School of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. Researchers at the center will study ways to use fluid power more efficiently in off-road and on-road vehicles, in manufacturing, and in new applications like rescue and surgery robots. This is a $17 million, five-year effort in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt University, the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and North Carolina A&T.
The National Science Foundation ERC for Structured Organic Composites
This center is led by Rex Reklaitis, the Edward W. Comings Professor of Chemical Engineering. The center’s work will enhance the quality and consistency of solid-dosage-form drug nutraceuticals, processed foods, agrichemicals, and other products that consist of structured combinations of solid organic materials–potentially leading to a significant price reduction and greater global availability. This is a $17 million, five-year effort in collaboration with Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the University of Puerto Rico.
The Department of Transportation NEXTRANS: Integrated Solutions for Mobility, Safety and Infrastructure Renewal Center
NEXTRANS is led by Srinivas Peeta, a professor of civil engineering. Research at the center will focus on the nation’s transportation future by trying to boost the efficiency of highways, rail lines, airports, waterways, and pipelines. This is one of 10 university transportation centers sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and is a $6 million, three-year effort. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and The Ohio State University are two major partners.
The National Science Foundation Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN)
NCN has been renewed for an additional five years. The project is led by Mark Lundstrom, the Scifres Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The network is attracting world-renowned experts to Purdue, offering opportunities to work with leaders in the nanotechnology field. NCN–a $21 million, six-year effort–is leading research to understand, simulate, and design electronic devices comprised of single molecules. NCN has been designed to be the center of excellence for simulation at the nanoscale level in the United States. Collaborating institutions include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, the University of Florida, the University of Texas El Paso, and Clemson University.
The Rolls-Royce University Technology Center (UTC) in High-Mach Number Flight
This is Rolls-Royce’s first university technology center, where Purdue engineers research jet engine technology for high-speed aircraft that may fly as fast as seven times the speed of sound. Possible uses for these jet engines include vehicles that launch satellites or transport crews to space labs or colonies. They could also be used in high-speed military vehicles traveling at 5,000 to 6,000 miles per hour, which could reach any point on Earth within two hours. Researchers are concentrating on problems of highly efficient heat transfer and combustion, with the goal to make a working engine that operates at very high speeds. This is a $5.2 million, three-year effort. The center is under the leadership of Steve Heister, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics.