UW center will focus on materials crucial to 7E7
Thursday, December 18, 2003
The UW College of Engineering is home to a new Center of Excellence program, focused on advanced materials for commercial airplanes.
The award was announced recently by Sen. Maria Cantwell. The center, part of a program of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for research in composite materials, will encourage the use of composites and other advanced structural materials in future aircraft such as the Boeing 7E7.
"Composite materials are going to make 7E7 a great plane," Cantwell said. "This is more than an investment in research, it is an investment in jobs. It makes sense to manufacture planes close to where the research is done."
Boeing officials affirmed the center's importance. "The continuing effort to establish the advanced materials center at the University of Washington is a great example of our elected officials working together with industry to keep Washington state a leader in creating a safe and efficient global air transport system," said Mike Cave, senior vice president of airplane programs for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The Center of Excellence forges a union of public sector agencies, such as the FAA, with private sector corporations and academic institutions to create a world-class consortium that will identify solutions for existing and anticipated materials problems.
UW President Lee Huntsman said, "With the help of this Center of Excellence, the UW will work in tandem with businesses to ensure that the Puget Sound is at the forefront of technology and the aerospace industry. I appreciate Senator Cantwell's hard work."
The FAA intends to invest between $300,000 and $500,000 in the first year and a minimum of $300,000 per year for the next two years, with additional funding to come through public- and private-sector sponsors. With industry and academic matching funds, annual funding could be as much as $1 million a year.
There are now six centers of excellence administered by the FAA.