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Polymer Engineering Center receives NSF recognition

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has named the Mechanical Engineering Department's Polymer Engineering Center (PEC) as an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). It's the first time a College of Engineering center has been designated an I/UCRC by the NSF.
Tim A. Osswald

Tim A. Osswald
(15K JPG)

Principal investigators for the center are ME Professor Tim Osswald and Assistant Professor Lih-Sheng (Tom) Turng. It will join the Center for Advanced Polymer and Composite Engineering at Ohio State University and the Florida Advanced Center for Composite Technologies at Florida State University as partner institutions in the I/UCRC. The NSF I/UCRC program seeks to foster better partnerships between university researchers and industry, enhance collaborative educational efforts, and more closely link technology transfer between researchers and industry.

According to Turng, the Polymer Engineering Center (PEC) had to raise $150,000 in industry donations to apply to be an NSF I/UCRC. Turng and others from the PEC met with industry representatives earlier this year to discuss the I/UCRC proposal, and they were enthusiastic about the idea, Turng said. A number of them contributed private donations that played a key role in the success of the PECıs application to the NSF, according to Turng. The NSF provides up to $70,000 annually to the center during a five-year period.
Lih-Sheng (Tom) Turng

Lih-Sheng (Tom) Turng
(21K JPG)

"It's highly competitive," Turng said of the efforts to receive the I/UCRC designation from the NSF. This was the PEC's first attempt at applying for the NSF designation, and Turng had considered it be a longshot to get funded. But he said the center's recent activities, including stepped-up efforts to reach out to industrial partners on research and training efforts, played a key role in receiving the NSF designation.

The designation is an outgrowth of the Polymer Engineering Center's Engineering Polymer Industrial Consortium (EPIC). EPIC is a university-industry-government collaboration focused on polymer engineering and processing. It is aimed at enhancing the competitiveness and effectiveness of companies involved in design and manufacturing of plastic components, as well as the production of manufacturing and sensing equipment related to the plastics industry. Companies currently involved in EPIC include the 3M Corp., Dow Chemical Corp., Phillips Plastics Corp., and the Daimler-Chrysler Corp. Phillips Plastic and Black Bros. of Mendota, Ill., have recently donated laboratory equipment to the PEC.

Eleven College of Engineering faculty are currently associated with the PEC. For more information, visit or


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Date last modified: Monday, 08-Jul-2002 10:18:00 CDT
Date created: 08-Jul-2002

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