Notre Dame creating a new Turbomachinery Facility

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The University of Notre Dame and five partners will be creating a research and test facility for advancing technology used in the gas turbine engines used by commercial and military aircraft, power plants and the oil and gas industry.

The Notre Dame Turbomachinery Facility will be built housed in a 43,000 square foot building in South Bend's Ignition Park. Construction is set to begin this summer and will be complete by March 2015.

The facility is estimated  to be fully operational by July 2016.

“This venture will be a cutting-edge research and testing facility for the turbine engine industry as well as a tremendous economic driver for our region,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “Notre Dame is grateful to our partners for their support of this project and excited about all that it will mean to our University, the city and state, the industry as a whole and our nation.”

Notre Dame will contribute $7.5 million to the project.

The other companies involved include General Electric Co., the city of South Bend, the state of Indiana, Great Lakes Capital and Indiana Michigan Power.

“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 and Water business and a Notre Dame graduate. “The important rig testing we will do at the center builds upon GE’s already strong and long-standing technical relationship with the University. For years, GE has turned to Notre Dame for top technical talent.”

The new facility will bring approximately 60 jobs to the facility.

“The aerospace industry is reaching new heights in Indiana,” said Gov. Mike Pence. “Universities like Notre Dame and others across the state are providing avenues for discovery, proving that the sky is the limit in Indiana when it comes to bringing a big vision to life. The next great technological innovation could come from the mind of a Hoosier, highlighting for the world the full range of possibilities when investing in a state that works.”

Mark Neal, deputy mayor of South Bend, added: “Attracting such major investment speaks to South Bend’s economic future and its capacity to attract high-tech businesses. This project continues our city’s history of innovation and is more evidence of the benefits that South Bend’s economic and geographic advantages offer.”

Notre Dame's current Turbomachinery Laboratory has worked with industry and government partners since 2003.

The new facility will allow for testing engine components at pressures and temperatures higher than any that exist at current U.S. university facilities.

“We are very excited to be launching the Notre Dame Turbomachinery Facility,” said Robert J. Bernhard, the University’s vice president for research. “It will be a significant combination of world class research, building on an outstanding program, and local economic development. We are very grateful to our collaborating organizations, who have been outstanding partners in putting this project together.”

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