The University of Dayton Research Institute began receiving a disassembled C-130 Hercules for research work in mid-May. A large concrete pad, center right, was installed to support the weight of aircraft. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

UD hits new sponsored research record of $166 million

The University of Dayton has posted a new record in sponsored research.

The university’s research institute (UDRI) saw its fifth-straight year of double-digit research growth with $166 million in sponsored research performed in fiscal year 2019. That represents an 11 percent increase over last year’s mark of $149.8 million, the university said.

New awards in fiscal 2019 helped the university not only attain a new record, but reach $2.5 billion in cumulative sponsored research, boosted by Air Force contracts for work in hypersonics, advanced power technologies, structures and landing gear.

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In fact, citing National Science Foundation data, UD says it is the top Ohio university for drawing federally sponsored engineering research and development and Department of Defense research.

“The university is heavily investing in new areas of faculty research, and continually developing ways to foster interdisciplinary, collaborative research projects between its academic departments and its research institute,” John Leland, the university’s vice president of research, said in UD’s announcement Monday. “While the vast majority of research projects at universities take place on a lab bench, researchers at UDRI are increasingly working on solving problems and moving technology into application or testing new and existing technologies and demonstrating them in the field.”

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In May, UDRI took possession of a decommissioned C-130 from Eglin Air Force Base to work with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center on technologies designed to help the Air Force keep its aging fleet of C-130s aloft.

“I can look outside my window at a C-130 Hercules in our parking lot,” Leland said. “That’s pretty cool. For UDRI to have an aircraft on hand, where researchers can test and demonstrate technology solutions in a real environment, shows its progress in this area as an organization.”

Citing National Science Foundation data from fiscal 2017, UD said it performs more sponsored materials research than any university.

Again relying on National Science Foundation data, UD said it ranks fifth for all sponsored industrial and manufacturing engineering research and development, eighth in federally sponsored engineering research and development, ninth in total research spending among private four-year U.S. universities without medical schools, and 23rd nationally for all sponsored engineering research and development.

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Among U.S. Catholic universities, UD said it ranks first for all sponsored engineering research and development.

UDRI employs about 640 full-time and part-time employees, an increase of nearly 200 in three years. Nearly 100 faculty and 370 students also engage in sponsored research.

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