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University of Dayton Research Institute snags a big military contract
Researchers will look at how 3D printing and sensors could help save the Air Force money

The contract means jobs for 30 researchers as well as some sub-contracting work for local tech businesses.
Courtesy of University of Dayton
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The University of Dayton Research Institute has received a $99 million U.S. Air Force research contract. It’s the biggest contract in the school’s history. For Ohio Public Radio, WYSO’s Jerry Kenney reports.

LISTEN: Dayton gets a $99 million Air Force grant

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You’ve likely heard of 3-D printing by now, but how about “robotic non-destructive evaluation"? That’s a process that uses sensors to find maintenance issues without having to tear something apart --  in this case, military planes.

The research institute will study technologies like 3-D printing and sensors that could save the U.S. Air Force money on maintenance for an aging air fleet. Sukh Sidhu is the head of the Energy Technologies and Materials division.

“If the planes are spending more time in maintenance, they are not available for the job.”

Sidhu says the five-year contract will take 25 to 30 researchers, possibly more. About half of those will be new jobs. It could also mean sub-contracting work for local technology businesses.

The university will develop courses to train Air Force personnel and students at Dayton in the new maintenance tools.

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