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News

A cleaner environment and a better quality of life

Georgia Institute Of Technology : 28 February, 2001  (New Product)
A cleaner environment and a better quality of life are only two expected outcomes of a new multi-million dollar partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Georgia Institute of Technology. When all is said and done, researchers hope to revolutionize propulsion technology and enable a new generation of aerospace vehicles.
A cleaner environment and a better quality of life are only two expected outcomes of a new multi-million dollar partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Georgia Institute of Technology. When all is said and done, researchers hope to revolutionize propulsion technology and enable a new generation of aerospace vehicles.

Georgia Tech's Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory, located in the School of Aerospace Engineering, has secured a task order contract worth $9 million over the next five years to work with NASA's Ultra Efficient Engine Technology program. UEET is currently NASA's most prominent aeronautical program, and the agency is expected to invest $250 million in its success in the next decade.

UEET's mission is to develop revolutionary new technologies for future turbine engine propulsion systems. The program's top-level goals are to 1) utilize more efficient technology to burn up to 15 percent less fuel (thereby reducing carbon dioxide, a major offender in the global warming controversy) and 2) reduce the NOX, or troublesome compounds of nitrogen oxides, released at landing and takeoff 70% relative to current international standards. NASA will team with both university and industry partners toward this end.

Dr. Joe Shaw, UEET Program Manager from NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, was at Georgia Tech to announce the agreement. Dr. Shaw stressed that this contract is more than a list of assigned tasks, and he anticipates that the program's built-in flexibility will help produce exciting results. 'We have the flexibility, working together, to define the specific pieces of work that we want to accomplish over the life of the contract.' He also expects other NASA programs to share in and benefit from the research. 'I am broadly advertising this contract so that others at NASA can utilize it,' he said.

Dr. Shaw explained that while aviation does not play a large role in today's global warming problem, commercial aviation is expected to grow 3-5 percent annually. 'If we project this increase into the future, it can be significant,' he said. 'We need to be developing the technologies today that will allow industry to design engines that pollute even less in the future. That's a quality of life issue.'

The contract is also designed to encourage the educational development of students in Georgia Tech's highly-ranked School of Aerospace Engineering. 'We offer students a glimpse of the big picturehow their technological efforts flow into a NASA program, into the national agenda, and into engine design,' said Shaw. 'We can open some windows of information and understanding to help them make strong career choices. NASA has a role here in fostering the development of the skilled, competent next generation of aerospace engineers. We take that pretty seriously,' he adds.

Georgia Tech's Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory, located in the School of Aerospace Engineering, is one of a small number of academic research laboratories in the county that focuses on aerospace systems design. Design is inherently a multi disciplinary activity, and ASDL encourages students and researchers to create complex systems by reaching beyond their primary research focus and incorporating a comprehensive view.

Dr. Dimitri N. Mavris is the Boeing Professor in Advanced Aerospace Systems Analysis and director of ASDL. 'For us, this contract provides stability,' he said. 'It helps in recruiting research engineersthey know they can stay here a whileand it helps recruit students. Students can be involved in research that is of scholarly interest to industry, and they know there is the opportunity for internships and future work with NASA. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.'

'The opportunity to work with NASA on projects with the national importance of the Ultra Efficient Engine Technology program occur only once in a blue moon,' said Dr. Robert Loewy, chair of the School of Aerospace Engineering. 'We are complimented, indeed, and happy to have been chosen as partners in research with the leading experts in the field. Knowing the people at NASA, and the faculty, staff, and students in Georgia Tech's Aerospace Systems Design Lab, I am confident that this will be a remarkably productive government-university collaboration.'
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