UI debuts new engineering center


Abhishek Johri

NSF Director Dr. France Cordova speaking about POETS, a new Engineering Research Center on Thursday, October 15.

The new $18.5 million center for the Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems is a “really big deal,” said President Timothy Killeen.

At a kick-off meeting for the center Thursday, Killeen said he believes the new center will affirm “the world-class know-how” of the University in relation to power and electro-thermal systems.

The center is sponsored by the National Science Foundation as an Engineering Research Center and aims to pack more power into less space for electrical systems, according to the Engineering at Illinois website.RB

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    “It was the commitment to education at the University that was very impressive,” said Pramod Khargonekar, assistant director for Directorate of Engineering at the National Science Foundation.

    Khargonekar said that finding their next industrial partner was a two-phase process. Originally, 18 out of 198 proposals moved to the second stage and then 10 of the 18 received site visits.

    Finally, of the three winners, the University was chosen to receive an Engineering Research Center. He called the technological opportunity “very compelling.”

    According to the Engineering Research Center’s website, the University is the lead institution with Howard University, Stanford University and the University of Arkansas as core partners.RB

    “We have funded 67 successful centers throughout the U.S.,” said France Cordova, Director of the National Science Foundation.

    Cordova said the ERC program was created to bring industries and universities together as well as advance engineering research and innovation.

    “The beauty of science founded in collaborative, diverse partnerships like ERCs is that sometimes we come across unexpected discoveries and solutions that change the world,” France said.

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