NSF e-Design Center Accepts UB As Full University Research Partner in Prestigious National Coalition

Membership is "a big win" for local industry

Release Date: May 18, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. The National Science Foundation's e-Design Center has accepted the University at Buffalo as a full university member research site in its prestigious Industry-University Collaborative Research Center for e-Design.

Through its member universities, the Center for e-Design provides its industry and government partners with access to a broad range of innovative design tools based on fundamental principles of science, mathematics and engineering to facilitate faster, more economic and creative research and development of products and systems.

"This is a big win for local industry as well as for UB," says Harvey G. Stenger, Jr., PhD, interim provost for UB and former dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, home of UB's New York State Center for Engineering Design and Industrial Innovation (NYSCEDII), the lead organization at UB in the Center for e-Design. "I think it's proof that the investment that New York State made by creating NYSCEDII at UB back in 2001 has definitely paid off. NYSCEDII has been working with industry all along. This allows us to take that partnership to the next level."

The Center for e-Design was established to create new design paradigms and electronic design tools that will assist in generating high quality products and systems at a reduced cost while reducing the time associated with designing complex engineered products and systems.

As a member of the Center for e-Design, UB joins coalition partners at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University of Central Florida, Virginia Tech, Carnegie Mellon University and Brigham-Young University.

"This achievement is one hundred per cent due to the work of the NYSCEDII team led by Kemper Lewis," says Stenger, referring to Kemper Lewis, PhD., professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, who is NYSCEDII's executive director. "The community that UB is now joining as a result of their work is comprised of top rated schools of engineering. This shows that the talent at NYSCEDII and UB is akin to the talent at those schools. UB's acceptance into the Center for e-Design speaks well of UB's abilities not only in basic research but also in corporate relations. NYSCEDII demonstrated the research prowess as well as the critical connections with Western New York industry."

UB was invited to develop a proposal to join the center last spring; the invitation was contingent on UB establishing a core group of companies in Western New York that were interested in partnering with UB in order to gain from its expertise in design theory, system simulation and scientific visualization.

A requirement for joining the Center for e-Design was to develop collaborations with at least five industrial partners interested in the research expertise in e-design at UB. A nominal membership fee allows the industrial partners to propose a research project with UB, gives them access to cutting-edge research from other universities in the center and exposes them to top students in the center for internships and employment.

The UB-wide effort was led by NYSCEDII, which was established at UB as a major center for engineering design to provide companies throughout New York State with a significant competitive advantage in high-tech product development. Its mission is to develop next-generation design, manufacturing, product and process development tools that best exploit new information, visualization, and simulation technologies for the benefit of the industrial base of New York State.

To date, NYSCEDII, has provided a broad range of these services and expertise to nearly forty companies throughout the region.

UB's initial partners in the e-Design Center are: Cameron, a Houston-based provider of flow equipment products, systems and services with a division in Buffalo; CUBRC, a not-for-profit research and development corporation conducting research, development, testing and integration of systems for government and commercial customers in defense, space, intelligence, public health, transportation and infrastructure markets; Dresser-Rand, among the largest suppliers of rotating equipment solutions to the worldwide oil, gas, petrochemical, and process industries; Moog, designer and manufacturer of precision control products and systems; TheraSyn Sensors, a startup that licensed and is developing UB sensor technology across a broad range of medical device applications.

Edward S. Czechowski, manager for new product development and technology engineering with Cameron Compression Systems, the company's Buffalo division, has worked with NYSCEDII to increase its market share with new products while providing better quality and service to customers. NYSCEDII also is helping Cameron develop metrics to drive design-decisions and discover areas where design collaboration can be matched with IT solutions.

"The professionalism and skill sets I'm dealing with are fantastic and I truly look forward to the results at the end of the projects we're engaged with," says Czechowski.

At TheraSyn Sensors, founder Jerome Schentag, UB professor of pharmaceutical sciences, said that he was working with NYSCEDII in order to get virtual design assistance for his products.

"That's important because where you are soliciting interest from potential investors, you need to be able to showcase your products before they're available in prototype," says Schentag, " and you really do need something slicker than the back of the envelop diagrams. So NYSCEDII is making designs for us that are much more presentable and modern. And when we get to the next stage, NYSCEDII will use its design expertise to help us to develop prototypes."

Through UB's membership, local companies also will have access to national design research available through the coalition of other participants in the Center for e-Design.

The NSF Industry/Center Cooperative Research Center program is designed to assist industries by providing access to university research that companies would not have access to otherwise.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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