(Columbus, Ohio)… The hotter a jet engine can run, the more efficiently it can generate power. Because of the cross-disciplinary applications for jet engines or gas turbines — from flying a military plane to powering electric generation— research into gas turbine efficiency appeals to researchers across Ohio’s universities, military labs, and aerospace industry.
Recent innovative efforts funded through the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN), and led by scientists at The Ohio State University (OSU), have been able to advance research improving jet turbine engines.
Dr. Randy Mathison, Assistant Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering in The Ohio State University’s world-class Gas Turbine Laboratory, is not only pushing the limits of jet engine research, but the OFRN funding has allowed him to unify previously siloed research teams in order to further their overall goal of improving jet engine efficiency. Dr. Mathison and his group at the Ohio State University are collaborating with teams from the University of Cincinnati, Miami University, and the Air Force Institute of Technology – all working towards a common goal but leveraging their specific expertise and resources.
As a direct result of the OFRN project, one of the world’s leading aerospace manufacturing companies, Pratt & Whitney, recently entered into a substantial partnership with OSU’s Gas Turbine Laboratory to establish the Pratt & Whitney Center of Excellence. This new Center of Excellence will allow Pratt & Whitney to partner with OSU’s best minds in order to help solve industry wide problems and advance Ohio’s standing as a leader in jet engine technologies.
Honeywell, the initial key industry partner in Dr. Mathison’s OFRN project, is also continuing to engage with OSU’s Gas Turbine Lab. This year, in addition to continuing its support, the company significantly increased the amount of funding dedicated to this research area.
Dr. Mathison noted that “Ohio is truly at the center of the aircraft engine development industry. We have assets such as the Air Force Research Laboratory, NASA Glenn Research Center, and GE Aviation. And with all of that comes a huge supply network and huge opportunity to work together. The OFRN model allows us to partner with other universities, the Federal labs, and even businesses. All of this collaboration produces ideas and solutions at a much faster rate.”
OFRN’s investment into Dr. Mathison’s jet engine research has helped demonstrate to major players in the aerospace industry the significance and value of what’s being accomplished within Ohio’s top universities and academic circles.
OFRN already has leveraged $32 million in state funds to attract nearly $139 million in new research awards, and has $350 million more in its funding pipeline. OFRN research projects include 11 universities and community colleges throughout the state and 57 industry partners. The OFRN projects have also resulted in six new Ohio companies.
About OFRN. The Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN) is a unique applied research collaborative created by the Ohio General Assembly in 2015. OFRN’s intent is to create external investment and business opportunities for Ohio. OFRN’s vision is to drive innovation among Ohio’s research universities, community colleges, and industry. OFRN focuses on priority research initiatives of Ohio-based federal partners, including the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), the Naval Medical Research Unit Dayton (NAMRU-D), the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), and the National Aeronautical and Space Administration’s Glenn Research Center (NASA-GRC).
For more information about the Ohio Federal Research Network, go to www.ohiofrn.org
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