University of Delaware
UD engineers showcased research at Boeing Philadelphia during the 2012 National Engineers Week celebration.

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UD engineers showcase research at Boeing Philadelphia


1:31 p.m., March 12, 2012--A wheeled robot equipped with omnidirectional cameras, a global positioning system (GPS) and a laptop computer roamed the floor, recording images of everything in its path, while a composite gearbox perched on a table made from composite materials.

This was the scene as University of Delaware faculty, students and alumni from the College of Engineering and the Center for Composite Materials (CCM) showcased their research for employees of Boeing Philadelphia during National Engineer’s Week in February.

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UD was among 10 universities, three high school FIRST robotics teams and two middle schools invited to attend the festivities. UD representatives highlighted CCM’s new program area in virtual manufacturing and soldier rehabilitation, as well as its collaboration with industrial partner V Systems to develop a composite gearbox for the Black Hawk helicopter.

For researchers like Dirk Heider the event was an opportunity to share promising ideas with Boeing technical staff, some of whom are CCM alumni, and potentially spark new partnerships or collaborations.

“The composite gearbox, in particular, garnered significant interest by several Boeing engineers,” said Heider, assistant director for technology at CCM and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at UD.

In addition to Heider, UD representatives included:

  • Ray McCauley, president of the UD student chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE-UD);
  • Christopher Rasmussen, associate professor of computer and information sciences;
  • Shridhar Yarlagadda, CCM assistant director for research and associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; and
  • Jeffrey Lawrence, UD alumnus and former researcher at CCM, now engineering manager with V System Composites.

“Boeing has had a longstanding relationship with the University of Delaware’s CCM and we are thrilled that they were able to showcase their research with us during Engineer’s Week. This opportunity provided CCM with direct feedback from Boeing employees and helped our engineers stay engaged with the latest in research developments," remarked John E. Lyons, a chief engineer and UD executive focal at Boeing Philadelphia.

About CCM

Founded in 1974, CCM conducts basic and applied research, educates scientists and engineers, and develops and transitions technology. Since 1985, CCM has been designated a center of excellence through seven programs. The center has some 250 affiliated personnel, more than $12 million in annual expenditures, and over 2,000 alumni worldwide. More than 3,500 companies have benefited from affiliation with CCM over the past three decades.

Article by Karen B. Roberts

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