SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Peter Silva, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

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General Electric Company to Be Lead Research Sponsor at New University of Notre Dame Technology Center

The University of Notre Dame, along with GE and four other public entities, are collaborating on a $36 million project to create a unique research and testing center to advance the technology of gas turbine engines used for jet aircraft, power generation plants, and the oil and gas industry.

GE has committed $13.5 million over the next five years to fund research at the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Facility, which was unveiled today in South Bend, Indiana. The GE industrial operations to be involved in gas turbine research and testing at the new center are Aviation, Power & Water, Oil & Gas, and Global Research.

Construction on the 25,000-square-foot center, to be located at the city’s Ignition Park, will begin this summer, with completion slated for March 2015. The university-staffed center, which features five new test bays for compressor and turbine rig testing, is expected to be fully operational in July 2016.

“The center will allow GE’s industrial businesses to simulate full-scale engine operating environments,” said Rick Stanley, vice president and chief technologist for GE’s Power & Water business, and himself, a Notre Dame graduate. “The important rig testing we will do at the center builds upon GE’s already strong and longstanding technical relationship with the university. For years, GE has turned to Notre Dame for top technical talent.”

Approximately 450 Notre Dame graduates are employed across GE’s businesses. Over the past decade, GE’s industrial businesses have already conducted about $10 million in research and testing at Notre Dame.

Since 2003, Notre Dame’s current Turbomachinery Laboratory has collaborated with industry and government to advance gas turbine engine technologies. The new Turbomachinery Facility will expand this effort by testing engine components at pressures and temperatures higher than any at current U.S. university facilities. Notre Dame will use the new facility to advance current working relationships with both government sponsors and all manufacturers of gas-turbine engines.

Notre Dame will contribute $7.5 million to the project. In addition to GE, other contributors include: the city of South Bend with matching funds exceeding $4.4 million, the state of Indiana, through the Indiana Economic Development Corp., which is providing $2.6 million for training and an Industrial Development grant; Great Lakes Capital, which is providing approximately $6 million to construct the facility; and AEP, which will build a substation, valued at $2 million, to provide the considerable power needed to operate the facility’s multiple test cells.

When fully operational, the new facility will provide about 60 new jobs to directly operate the facility. An additional 60 jobs are expected through the growth of local suppliers to support the facility’s need for precision manufactured components. At full operation, research expenditures generated through work conducted at ND Turbo are expected to exceed $15 million annually.

More detail on GE’s industrial businesses engaged with Notre Dame:

GE Aviation: Based in Cincinnati, Ohio (USA), and the world’s largest jet engine maker with a broad portfolio of commercial and military engines. GE Aviation also has a significant digital systems business. GE and its partner companies have more than 58,000 jet engines flying worldwide. GE Aviation recorded revenues of $21.9 billion (in 2013). The business employs 44,000 people and operates 79 manufacturing facilities and 11 engineering centers worldwide. Visit GE Aviation on the web at www.geaviation.com.

GE Global Research: Global Research is the cornerstone of innovation for all of GE's businesses. Our 3,000 scientists and engineers apply expertise in fields from electronics to chemistry, biosciences to computing, metallurgy to fluid mechanics, materials to imaging—and many more—against the world’s toughest challenges. We innovate 24 hours a day, with sites in Niskayuna, New York; San Ramon, California; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; Munich, Germany; Tirat Carmel, Israel; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Visit GE Global Research on the web at www.geglobalresearch.com.

GE Power & Water: We provide customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources, such as wind and solar, biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.

GE Oil & Gas: Oil & Gas works on the things that matter in the oil and gas industry. In collaboration with our customers, we push the boundaries of technology to bring energy to the world. From extraction to transportation to end use, we address today's toughest challenges in order to fuel the future. Follow GE Oil & Gas on Twitter @GE_OilandGas.

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