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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

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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/

Taking Flight: Auburn’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight School

This month, Auburn University received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to establish the first Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight School in the United States. This designation will allow Auburn faculty members, students, and members of relevant public organizations to perform commercial flight training on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), often called drones. The flight school will perform flights outside and untethered in various locations around the state of Alabama.

Auburn University has an 80-year history of teaching and research about aviation, and this year’s edition of Auburn Speaks, titled On Cyber and the Digital Domain, includes a chapter by Chase Murray entitled “Air Traffic Control: Algorithms for UAV Operations: From Monitoring the Battlefield to Delivering Packages,” that describes the uses of UAVs and the processes by which UAVs fly to pre-determined destinations without a human pilot. In the chapter, Murray explains his own research, devising algorithms and other mathematical models to help UAVs reach their target locations using GPS coordinates.

Murray ends his piece by emphasizing that it is an exciting time to be studying UAVs at Auburn University. Several faculty members and their students are working on federally funded projects to improve UAV capabilities, such as Saad Biaz, who is developing software to improve UAV flight navigation and avoid collisions. With the approval of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight School, these exciting times will certainly continue.

To learn more, visit: http://ocm.auburn.edu/aviation_center/

To get your copy of Auburn Speaks: On Cyber and the Digital Domain, visit the Auburn Speaks Store.

Auburn Experts Pave the Way

David TimmDavid Timm, Brasfield & Gorrie professor in Auburn University’s Department of Civil Engineering, served as a keynote speaker at the 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Urbanization in Hong Kong in December.

Timm’s keynote address, “Pavement Design: Past, Present and a Sustainable Future,” provided a comprehensive view of pavement design in the U.S. and featured perpetual pavement research findings from the National Center for Asphalt Technology Pavement Test Track in Opelika, Ala.

In his presentation, Timm stressed the importance of pavements in healthy infrastructure. The growing demand for higher-performing, longer-lasting pavements has led pavement engineers to embrace mechanistic-empirical approaches. Timm’s presentation evaluated these approaches which more readily accommodate innovation in construction, materials and better prediction of pavement performance over time.

The international conference, hosted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, included 300 presentations representing 30 countries. The conference aimed to provide an international forum for the scientific and engineering community to examine the challenges arising from the massive urbanization programs underway throughout the world and to find effective solutions to ensure stable urbanization globally. 

by Valerie Cashin

Auburn Research Hubs

Auburn_Hubs

Our vision for the future of Auburn Research cuts across department boundaries.  We have examined the most pressing challenges both within the borders of Alabama and far beyond, from the environmental risks in the Northern Gulf of Mexico to security in our cyber world.  We have analyzed Auburn’s existing strengths–great minds turning ideas into meaningful results in fields like biomedical imaging and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

Based on this insight, we have focused strategically on clear research objectives in six interdisciplinary hubs.  Auburn Research is bringing together seemingly disparate interests to harness our intellectual power and passion toward vital common goals like curing cancer, sustainably meeting our energy needs and defining the future of transportation.  This is how Auburn Research will move us from the world we have now to the world we want tomorrow.

Our hubs:

  • Energy and the Environment
  • Health Sciences (including Food Systems)
  • Cyber
  • Transportation
  • Gulf of Mexico Research and Restoration
  • STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education)

To learn more, visit: www.auburn.edu/research