The University of Kentucky and the state of Kentucky are among the partners in a $259 million initiative, announced Friday by President Obama, that will come up with stronger, lighter weight composite materials.
The U.S. Department of Energy selected the Institute for Advance Composites Manufacturing Innovation, which will be led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to focus new efforts on creating better composite materials and technologies for rapid deployment in the automotive, wind turbine and compressed gas storage industries.
John Walz, dean of the UK College of Engineering, said in a news release: "The funds from this grant, together with support from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, will benefit composite-based manufacturing companies in Kentucky plus support basic and applied research at UK."
UK's research, through the Center for Applied Energy Research, will focus on producing low cost, high strength carbon fibers for lightweight composite structures for improved vehicle energy efficiency.
Other core partners include Oak Ridge National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Purdue University, Michigan State University, University of Dayton Research Institute and their respective states.
The public-private partnership is supported by a $70 million Federal commitment over five years combined with an equal or greater amount in non-federal resources.
Six states and members, including more than 90 companies across the supply chain, have committed to $189 million in additional contributions to the institute.