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Auburn University hosting forum: Additive Manufacturing – The Next Industrial Revolution

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On July 30, 2015, Auburn University will be hosting a by invitation only forum on industrialized additive manufacturing.

Experts will discuss the application of this advanced technology for industries ranging from aerospace to biotechnology.  Industry leaders from GE Aviation, GKN, NASA, Carpenter Technology, Alabama Laser, U.S. Army Aviation and faculty from Auburn University, University of Alabama, UAH and University of Memphis will describe the role their organizations are playing in developing, implementing and utilizing new processes and computer-aided hardware and software to produce components from material and composites once considered exotic.

A keynote address will be given by Greg Morris, the General Manager of Additive Technologies for GE Aviation.

To learn more about this day-long forum and networking reception to follow, or if you are interested in attending, please email forum organizers at auees@auburn.edu.

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Auburn University experts say biosecurity is crucial in the fight against Avian Influenza

Auburn University Poultry Science expert, Dr. Ken Macklin

Auburn University Poultry Science expert, Dr. Ken Macklin

While avian influenza has been confirmed in 20 states, Alabama remains free of the disease and Alabama poultry producers are doing all that they can to keep the disease at bay.

A poultry scientist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System said poultry producers are more vigilant than ever when it comes to sanitation and other biosecurity measures.

“All our Alabama poultry growers have biosecurity measures in place,” said Ken Macklin. “Biosecurity measures are the first line of defense against avian influenza and other poultry diseases.”

Macklin said that more than 43 million chickens and turkeys have either died from the disease or had to be euthanized because the flock tested positive for a highly contagious form of avian influenza in the first five months of 2015. The most severely impacted states are in the upper Midwest, including Iowa, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“These cases in commercial poultry operations in the upper Midwest have mostly been linked to a failure of biosecurity,” said Macklin. “Growers may have thought they were following biosecurity guidelines fully, but it seems that there were lapses.”

Macklin, who is also an associate professor of poultry science at Auburn University, said strong biosecurity measures take many forms, including:

  • Isolating the birds from other animals
  • Minimizing access to people and unsanitized equipment
  • Keeping the area around the poultry buildings clean and uninviting to wild birds
  • Sanitizing the facility between flocks
  • Cleaning equipment entering and leaving the farm
  • Having an all in, all out policy regarding the placement and removal of the birds
  • Disposing properly of bedding material and any mortalities

Joseph Giambrone, an Auburn University professor of poultry science, called the losses to the national poultry industry staggering.

“The losses are in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Giambrone. “We can expect a reduction of at least 10 percent in egg laying production and a similar drop in turkey production nationally.”

Macklin said the potential production loss is why Alabama producers are working hard to keep their flocks free of the disease. According to Auburn University research done in 2012, poultry and egg production and processing contributed more than $15 billion to the state’s economy and employed more than 86,000 people.

Giambrone, whose research focuses on viral diseases of poultry, said the disease is spread by migrating water fowl such as ducks and geese.

“This outbreak began in Canada, and water fowl spread it south along the migratory bird flyways,” he said. “It was brought into the Midwest by birds using the Mississippi flyway. It has persisted so long there because of the heavy concentration of poultry producers in that region of the country.”

Giambrone said ducks and geese shed the virus in fecal material.

“Infected water fowl shed the virus into ponds and lakes as well as onto the land they are grazing.”

Macklin said that warmer weather may slow the disease’s spread.

“The virus can survive for days, especially if it is in water. In water, the virus can survive up to 100 days with a water temperature of 63 degrees Fahrenheit. But when water temperatures reach the 80s, the virus can survive for less than a month.”

He said the virus has a reduced ability to survive on land.

“On land, the virus can survive for 30 days at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 7 days at 68 degrees Fahrenheit,” said Macklin. “Once the outside temperature hits the 80s the virus breaks down in hours.”

While warmer weather may halt the disease’s progress in the United States, Giambrone emphasized that the disease can return next year.

“Even if we get control of the disease this year, wild water fowl in Alaska and Canada remain carriers of the disease and are a threat to bring it back to the United States when they migrate again next year.

By Maggie Lawrence

Auburn University receives national recognition for fostering economic growth, prosperity and innovation

One of the nation’s top higher education associations today recognized Auburn University for leadership in fostering economic growth, prosperity and innovation.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities named Auburn an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University, a designation that recognizes the university’s strong commitment to economic engagement and its work with public and private sector partners in Alabama and the region.

“Auburn is in the business of helping people achieve their hopes and dreams, and that’s why we’re committed to working alongside entrepreneurs, industry leaders and government officials as an engine of economic opportunity,” Auburn University President Jay Gogue said.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, or APLU, is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Auburn began the application process for the Innovation and Economic Prosperity University designation in September and engaged in an extensive self-study which included, among other things, surveys and focus groups with stakeholders from around the state of Alabama. The study found Auburn had a $5.1 billion economic impact on the state economy in 2014 and supports 23,600 jobs, in addition to direct employment.

“We are establishing partnerships and providing support to business and industry with an eye toward spurring growth,” said John Mason, Auburn University vice president for research and economic development. “These relationships benefit our students with learning experiences, while companies benefit from Auburn’s world-class faculty and research.”

A highlight is the university’s engagement with GE Aviation to help bring high-volume additive manufacturing to the GE facility in the city of Auburn, where it will manufacture jet engine fuel nozzles. The facility will be the first of its kind to mass produce additive components for the jet propulsion industry. The university will collaborate on training and industrializing processes as well as developing a curriculum for engineers interested in industrialized additive manufacturing.

Auburn is also home to a 13,000-square-foot Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, Lab focusing on the business and technical implementation of RFID and other new technologies in retail, supply chain management and manufacturing. It is a unique private and academic partnership between major manufacturers and retailers, technology vendors, standards organizations as well as top faculty and researchers from many disciplines.

Auburn is one of 18 universities named in APLU’s third annual class of Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities and is the only university named in the state of Alabama. Joining Auburn this year are Binghamton University; Clemson University; East Carolina University; Mississippi State University; New Jersey Institute of Technology; New Mexico State University; Ohio University; Southern Illinois University; University of Arizona; University of Kansas; University of Louisville; University of Maryland; University of Nebraska-Lincoln; University of New Mexico; University of South Florida; Utah State University; and Western University.

With a membership of 238 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations, APLU’s agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research and expanding engagement.

To learn more, visit www.auburn.edu/externalengagement

Auburn University Truck Platooning Report Shows Fuel Economy Gains

Auburn University was recently featured in an article for Heavy Duty Trucking Info for their work related to Truck Platooning:

A report on the first phase of research into the possible benefits of truck platooning technologies showed that all trucks in a platoon gained fuel efficiencies, with the lead truck gaining as much as a 5 percent improvement while the trailing truck got up to 10 percent improvement.

The study, which was conducted by Auburn University’s GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory, along with partners Peloton Technologies, Peterbilt Motors, Meritor-Wabco and the American Transportation Research Institute.

As part of the Federal Highway Administration’s advanced research project on heavy truck cooperative cruise control, the first phase of the study looked at the commercial feasibility of driver assistive truck platooning, or DATP.

DATP makes use of available vehicle-to-vehicle communications and other technologies such as adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance systems, radar, GPS data and other systems to allow two or more trucks to “platoon” in a very tight formation at highway speeds, thereby reducing drag and helping all trucks in the platoon gain mpg benefits. The trucks constantly maintain a communication link which allows them to share data. If the lead truck’s collision avoidance system activates its adaptive cruise control to slow down, the following truck or trucks will do the same.

To read the full article, visit: http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2015/05/truck-platooning-report-shows-fuel-economy-gains.aspx

GE Aviation readies first 3-D printed jet engine nozzle at Alabama plant, partners with Auburn University

GE Aviation Facility in Auburn

The Alabama Departmentment of Commerce recently featured GE Aviation’s Auburn plant in its online news center:

AUBURN, Alabama — GE Aviation is turning its facility in Auburn into the world’s first factory for 3-D printed jet engine fuel nozzles, landing the Alabama plant a starring role in a technology that promises to revolutionize aerospace manufacturing.

GE Aviation, one of the world’s top aircraft engine producers, announced plans to introduce high-volume production of the fuel nozzle using additive manufacturing in Auburn at last year’s Farnborough International Airshow. The company said the $50 million project would make the Alabama plant the first to mass produce 3-D printed components for the jet propulsion industry.

Since arriving in Alabama, the company has begun developing ties to Auburn University, which is seen as a potential talent pipeline for the facility. “We continue working with Auburn University around technology, student activities, and recruiting, and the partnership continues to grow,” Markiewicz said.

To read the full article, visit:  http://www.madeinalabama.com/2015/06/ge-aviation-readies-first-3-d-printed-jet-engine-nozzle/

Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer announces academic-biotech collaboration

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Researchers from the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer, or AURIC, and Nuovo Biologics LLC, of Davie, Florida, have announced a partnership to develop new therapies for cancer.

Initially targeting canine malignant melanoma, or skin cancer, a deadly tumor that affects many dogs, the team will be testing Nuovo’s innovative anti-cancer peptide drug MMX for its ability to treat these tumors.

The National Institutes for Health recently awarded a grant funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to support a clinical trial of the new peptide treatment. According to Dr. Bruce Smith, director of AURIC and leader of the Auburn component of the research effort, the clinical trial will begin to recruit patients as early as June or July.

Jay Yourist, CEO of Nuovo Biologics, Auburn’s biotech partner, said, “This clinical trial represents the next step in moving MMX forward to FDA approval.”

In addition to the planned research with Nuovo, AURIC scientists are pursuing a wide variety of interdisciplinary cancer research, ranging from identifying the basic mechanisms that make normal cells become cancerous to a variety of new approaches to treating cancers. Funding for AURIC research is provided by the state of Alabama, federal research grants, funding from private organizations and donations from individuals.

Both AURIC and Nuovo Biologics take a One Health/One Medicine approach to cancer treatment, allowing discoveries in one species to be translated to other species. This latest partnership builds on the collaborative approach Nuovo has implemented with academic institutions, researchers and veterinarians across the country.

Founded in 2010, Nuovo Biologics is focused on developing a unique set of therapeutic protein drugs. Extensive in-vitro and animal model studies have shown these new peptide drugs to be promising in the oncology sphere, but also to have broad anti-viral application. Nuovo’s business model leverages strong collaborations to test animal products, which serve as models for the human market moving forward. For more information about Nuovo Biologics, go to http://www.nuovobiologics.com/.

The Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer promotes research that enhances competitiveness to advance the understanding of the biology of cancer, and fosters the translation of novel technologies from the laboratory to the clinic. AURIC is human medicine, animal medicine, research and diagnostics where faculty, students and staff work together to solve the complex puzzle of cancer. AURIC is based within the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. For more information about AURIC, go to http://www.auriconline.org/.

by Janet McCoy