The University of Dayton is among the top three universities in the nation when it comes to sponsored materials research, the university said Tuesday. UD Research Institute senior impact physics engineer Kevin Poormon displays an aluminum block that was struck by a projectile sphere like the one between his fingers in this 2014 photo. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

UD third in nation for sponsored materials research

The University of Dayton is ranked third in the nation for the amount of sponsored materials research the university attracts and performs.

The National Science Foundation recently released research and development work statistics for the foundation’s fiscal year 2015 that shows UD ranked behind SUNY Polytechnic in New York and Penn State.

“We started developing capabilities in materials in partnership with the Air Force shortly before UDRI got its start 60 years ago. Since then we’ve stayed focused on this area, continuing to build and expand our expertise as well as the variety of materials research programs in which we’re involved,” John Leland, vice president for research at UD.

Among all colleges and universities, UD ranks ranks 30th in the nation for sponsored engineering research and development.

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UD also finds itself in select company in another way. According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, there are 249 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States.

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UD ranks first among them for the amount of sponsored engineering research and development work it performs, as well as No. 1 among Catholic schools for sponsored materials research, according to information from the University of Dayton Research Institute.

“We’ve grown in engineering because we have not limited ourselves to basic research but, for a university, were early to embrace applied research. We’ve excelled at advancing great ideas and great discoveries into applications that benefit humanity. In more recent years, we’ve gone a step further and are now demonstrating and validating that these concepts will work as they are designed to,” Leland said.

UDRI performed 86 percent of all sponsored research on its Dayton campus.

In all, UD was awarded $117.6 million in research sponsorship for the university’s fiscal year 2016.

Of that, 88.4 percent of research revenue was from federal sources — the departments of Defense, Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and other federal agencies.

The institute has 99 faculty members and 295 graduate and undergraduate students engaged in sponsored research, among 520 full- and part-time employees.

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Nearly 100 UDRI employees work at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, an important source of research work for the university.

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